09/15/2019

Dan Walters: Will the one-percenters flee California’s high taxes?

After Cuomo complained, the Wall Street Journal reported that Florida is, indeed, seeing a new wave of well-to-do transplants from New York, New Jersey and other high-taxing states, sparking a real estate boom.

So what about California and neighboring Nevada, which, like Florida and Texas, doesn’t have a state income tax? The Wall Street Journal noted that both Nevada and Arizona are seeing their populations grow rapidly.

Former Gov. Jerry Brown sponsored an increase in income taxes on those in higher brackets, generating a windfall of new revenues and helping him balance the state budget. But later, he worried aloud that the federal limit on SALT deductions could entice the rich to flee his state.

There have been anecdotal accounts about such flight, but no one has documented a mass migration. That said, it wouldn’t – as Cuomo pointed out – take much of an exodus from California to have an impact, given that so few high-income residents of his state generate so much of New York’s revenue stream.

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