Americans for Tax Reform has dug into some Census data to uncover a long-suspected fact: residents from high-tax blue states are leaving for lower-tax red states.
But what might surprise you are the numbers taking part in the exodus. In just one year — 2013 — more than 220,000 residents of states with Democratic governors moved to states with Republican governors.
In 2013, more than 200,000 people on net fled states with Democrat governors for ones run by Republicans, according to an analysis of newly released IRS data by Americans for Tax Reform.
“People move away from high tax states to low tax states. Every tax refugee is sending a powerful message to politicians,” said ATR President Grover Norquist. “They are voting with their feet. Leaders in Texas and Florida are listening. New York and California are not.”
That year, Democrat-run states lost a net 226,763 taxpayers, bringing with them nearly $15.7 billion in adjusted gross income (AGI). That same year, states with Republican governors gained nearly 220,000 new taxpayers, who brought more than $14.1 billion in AGI with them.
Only one-third of states with Democrat governors gained taxpayers, compared to three-fifths of states with Republican governors.
Top 5 loser states for Democrat governors in 2013:
· New York (114,929 people with $5.7 billion in AGI)
· Illinois (68,943 people with $3.8 billion in AGI)
· California (47,458 people with 3.8 billion in AGI)
· Connecticut (14,453 people with $1.8 billion in AGI)
· Massachusetts (11,915 people with $1 billion in AGI)
Top 5 winner states for Republican governors in 2013:
· Texas (152,912 people with $6 billion in AGI)
· Florida (74,094 people with 8.3 billion in AGI)
· South Carolina (29,176 people with 1.6 billion in AGI)
· North Carolina (26,207 people with $1.5 billion in AGI)
· Arizona (16,549 people with $1.5 billion in AGI)
A couple of recent examples will serve to illustrate the point.
Rahm Emanuel just proposed a $500 million property tax increase for the city of Chicago — the largest tax increase in modern Chicago history — which will add about $400 to the tax bill of the average property owner. The city has been bleeding population for 3 decades, and this move should only accelerate that trend. And California Governor Jerry Brown just proposed his own massive tax increase, including a whopping 11 cent a gallon increase in the tax on diesel fuel, 6 cents on regular gasoline, and a $65 registration fee for every vehicle, doubling the current cost.
With policies like these, is it any wonder taxpayers in blue states are crying “uncle” and heading for the hills?
What the Census numbers don’t include is the loss of businesses and jobs — the most tangible result of the increases in taxes. The Illinois income tax increases in 2011 resulted in a bonanza for next-door states Indiana, Missouri, and Wisconsin. as hundreds of Illinois businesses and thousands of jobs left the Land of Lincoln.
It’s no accident, either, that those top 5 blue states losing population are also among those in the worst fiscal shape. Four of the bottom six states in fiscal solvency are New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Illinois. California is number 44 with Kentucky — a red state governed by a Democrat — coming in at 45. New Jersey is number 49.