Wednesday, February 13, 2008

It's Not the Weather


People are moving away from the Midwest to other areas of the country...to avoid high income taxes.


An old adage says high taxes don't redistribute income, they redistribute people. For new evidence look no further than migration patterns within the United States, as documented in a new survey by the moving company United Van Lines.

A record eight million Americans -- some 20,000 people every day -- relocated to another state last year. So where are these families headed and why? The general picture is this: Americans are continuing to flee the Northeast and Midwest, while the leading destinations continue to be Southern and Western states.

...one reason to conclude that taxes are also a motivator is because the eight states without an income tax are stealing talent from other states.

Politicians who think taxes don't matter might want to explain the Dakotas. North Dakota ranked second worst in out-migration last year, while South Dakota ranked in the top 10 as a destination. The two are similar in most regards, with one large difference: North Dakota has an income tax and South Dakota doesn't.

One of the few Northeastern states that gained interstate migrants in 2007 was New Hampshire, the only state in New England without an income tax.

Our friends on the left say Americans are willing to pay more taxes to get better government services, but their migration patterns reveal the opposite.

I have two successful clients, this year alone, that are planning on moving away or changing their residential status from Minnesota for the sole purpose of avoiding high income taxes.

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