Just how long will wealthy Californians accept being used as an ATM machine by the state’s legislators?
For years Democrats have said their ever-increasing taxes don’t drive wealthy people away from the state. A new study says that theory is false. In fact, the study suggests higher taxes in California increased the number of wealthy residents fleeing by 40%. Americans do, in fact, want to leave their high tax states.
The Editors at The Wall Street Journal write:
Democrats in California have raised taxes on the rich again and again, and liberals claim it has no effect on taxpayer migration and does no harm to state tax revenue. A new study finds the opposite.
Stanford economists Joshua Rauh and Ryan Shyu analyzed how high earners responded to a 2012 referendum (Prop. 30) backed by Democrats that raised the top marginal rate on taxpayers with more than $1 million of income to 13.3% from 10.3%. The top rates on individuals earning more than $250,000 also rose between one and two percentage points.
First, the researchers examined whether higher taxes caused top earners to leave the state by measuring migration before and after Prop. 30 took effect. They noted a large uptick in the departure rate of taxpayers with more than $5 million in income following the tax hike—from 1.5% to 2.125%—and a commensurate outflow for taxpayers earning between $2 million and $5 million.
This essentially means that the likelihood of a wealthy resident moving out of California increased by about 40% after Prop. 30. Notably, the federal top marginal rate also rose in 2013, which the authors say softened the impact because the deductibility of state taxes also increased. After the GOP tax reform, state and local taxes are no longer fully deductible so the incentive to move is now greater.
I want you to make informed decisions about where you live and retire. The state you call home shouldn’t look at your retirement savings as a revenue generator.
The money you worked hard for should be spent by you and your family, not wasted on the latest project dreamed up at your statehouse.
Then take a look at the best states for retiree taxation. This can make a big difference when you’re living on a fixed income. Don’t forget property taxes, these are a necessary part of your retirement calculations in any state.