Regent Atlantic’s findings should provide a shock to the system of every policymaker with half a heart and some semblance of a functioning brain:
An analysis of income tax returns filed in New Jersey shows that taxpayers are changing their domiciles to lower-tax states. In 2010, there were 87,630 federal tax returns filed in states other than New Jersey by people who filed their 2009 tax returns in New Jersey. These 87,630 tax returns accounted for a loss of $5.5 billion in taxable income for New Jersey.
One frequently-cited 2010 Boston College study found that, between 2004 and 2008 (the McGreevey/Codey/Corzine years), New Jersey lost an upwards of $70 billion to outward migration by literally taxing it away:
The wealth is not being replaced,” said John Havens, who directed the study. “It’s above and beyond the general trend that is affecting the rest of the northeast.”
This was not always the case. The study – the first on interstate wealth migration in the country — noted the state actually saw an influx of $98 billion in the five years preceding 2004. The exodus of wealth, then, local experts and economists concluded, was a reaction to a series of changes in the state’s tax structure — including increases in the income, sales, property and “millionaire” taxes.”
No one in power seems to care.
Buying votes is still cheaper than dealing with the reality of a state without any rich guys left to squeeze. The Legislature’s current leadership remains willfully blind to the carnage, ignoring uncontroversial tax reform proposals while unbelievably proposing new tax levies under the pretense of raising revenues.
Good luck taxing ghosts, Mr. Speaker.