A few years ago, Glenn Reynolds wrote a salient piece for USA Today: If you tax it too much, they will go. Here’s another case in point.
New Jersey is set to impose a tax on financial transactions that occur online in the state. The NASDAQ processes more than half a million trades per day. Its servers happen to be in New Jersey. If each transaction is taxed at a quarter of a penny apiece, the costs will add up quickly. $10 billion per year, in fact, is what New Jersey expects to haul in.
That has the exchange considering moving out of high-tax New Jersey to — where else? — low-tax Texas.
Officials from Nasdaq and other major stock exchanges will meet with Gov. Greg Abbott on Nov. 20 in Austin to discuss a possible move from New Jersey to Texas, nbcdfw.com and the Dallas Morning News reported.
The meeting comes on the heels of the exchanges threatening to move their trading platforms out of New Jersey, the report said.
Abbott and other Texas officials plan to boast the state’s business-friendly environment during the meeting.
Texas is routinely touted as the best state for business (even though our property taxes are way too high). That translates into good jobs. That in turn translates into about 1,000 people per day moving to Texas from states like New Jersey, fleeing bad anti-business policies that in many cases they vote to enact once they get here.
That’s not sustainable over the long run. Texas matters too much to the national economy to see ruinous job-killing policies enacted here that have already harmed business climates in New Jersey, California, and other states. But we’re seeing it change. Austin has already become Portland’s ideological mini-me. Counties that were once bright red are turning purple.
Texas has the right business climate now, and it has mighty Rackspace out of San Antonio if NASDAQ wants a new home through which to process its transactions.
If NASDAQ comes here, fantastic and howdy to ’em. They’ve made an excellent choice.
But we need to keep Texas the way it is — or the nation’s job-creating engine will seize up and quit working and people who want to build their dreams in freedom will have nowhere else to go.