09/21/2019

Is California facing a tax exodus? Thanks to Trump’s tax law, more may start to flee

Even one of the most iconic figures of Bay Area business, Charles Schwab founder and Chairman Chuck Schwab, sees more people leaving California as a result of the tax changes, and not just at the upper end of the income scale.

“A lot of companies will be moving their people out of here, unless something happens,” Schwab told the Business Times after his company’s annual meeting in May. “They can move to Nevada or other places with a lower cost of living. That’s really important if you’re raising a family.”

. . . “Some clients have moved out of California and others are considering a move to a lower-tax or no-tax state,” said Christine Leong, market manager for J.P. Morgan Private Bank in Northern California. While the limit on tax deductions “is certainly a factor, it’s arguably more of a final straw for some taxpayers as opposed to the sole reason for their move.”

Others echo that assessment.

“I don’t see the 2018 federal law change as the main cause of despair. Many of my clients moved after Gov. Brown’s Prop. 30 passed and raised the top state income tax rate to 13.3 percent in 2012. Several billionaires moved out of California because of that,” said Paul Bleeg, a partner with the accounting firm EisnerAmper in San Francisco.

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