July 9, 2003
Study shows low taxes attract residents, high taxes drive them away
Internal migration patterns consistently show that Americans move out of states with high taxes and flock to states with lower taxes, a recent study by an Ohio University economist shows.
"While many focus on federal income taxes during April, people living in high tax states are literally moving to places where the burden is lower," said Marc Duff of the Taxpayers Network, which commissioned the study by Ohio University economist Richard Vedder.
The study showed that each one percent proportional increase in state and local taxes results in a loss of more than 150,000 people in the next nine years. It also showed that:
- States with low taxes gained 729,000 people through internal
migration from 2000-2002 while states with high taxes lost
- Each one percent increase in state and local taxes reduces
internal migration into a state by 18,000.
- States with high taxes lost almost one million people between 1990 and 1999 to states with lower taxes.
The tax impact on population may worsen since many states elected to raise taxes to address budget woes, the Taxpayers Network Institute said.
The report confirms many Public Policy Institute studies showing that New York's high taxes have slowed or reversed population growth. For example, The Institute's landmark book, The Comeback State, showed how high taxes in the recession in the early 1990s drove down both population and job growth.