Are New Yorkers Fleeing Higher Taxes?

May 30, 2012

This week we’ve been getting a lot of renewed attention for our State Migration Data Tool, the application that lets you see how many people have moved in and out of your state over the last decade, and how much income has flowed in or out with them. Many folks in New York, for example, have been surprised by the number of people leaving their state and the amount of money those exiles have been taking with them. Nicole Danna and Erik Kriss of the New York Post reported on the issue today:

New York state tops the nation in one key export — people fleeing high taxes.

More than 3.4 million New Yorkers — with combined annual earnings of $119 billion — pulled up stakes and left for other states from 2000 through 2009, according to the Tax Foundation.

The top destination: Florida, where 600,000 New Yorkers landed after leaving the high-taxes of the Empire State in the last decade — taking nearly $20 billion in income with them, new data shows.


Foundation analyst Nick Kasprak said taxes play a role in people’s decisions to relocate.

“You generally see people moving from higher-tax states to lower-tax states,” he said. “Certainly, taxes are one way that states compete with one another.”

Florida wins that competition with New York hands down. It has no income tax and no estate tax.

More stories on the state-to-state migration question have appeared this week citing the Tax Foundation’s work, including “Escape From New York? High-Taxing Empire State Loses 3.4 Million Residents in 10 Years” and “New York, Other High-Tax States Losing Residents.” Tax Foundation president Scott Hodge also put the migration issue in the context of the debate over a certain Facebook co-founder’s U.S. tax liability in the post “Is Eduardo Saverin Any Different From Rich New York Snowbirds?

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