Off to Greener Pastures
Thanks to this housing bubble, our insane taxes, and the residual effects of the stock bubble, people are packing up and leaving the state; not just those who are struggling but the wealthy too.
Some choice quotes:
Some choice quotes:
The rebel colonists who dumped 45 tons of tea into Boston Harbor showed the power of one kind of tax revolt -- the raucous kind. Now, 233 years later, large numbers of taxpayers across America are taking an entirely different approach. Quietly, without banners or raised fists, they are packing up their families and belongings and moving from high-tax states like California and New York to lower-tax locales like Florida, Nevada and Texas.
"It's a stealth migration, and it's one of the biggest, most significant yet least recognized movements of the population in American history," says Vedder. "People are voting with their feet to say that taxes do matter."
Wealthy Americans, in particular, seem fed up with giving an ever-growing share of their riches to the state tax man. Many are upset at moves by New York, New Jersey and a number of other states to squeeze ever larger revenues from estate taxes.
The basic math of moving to a low-tax state certainly can be compelling for the wealthy. "Their savings can be so large that it makes relocation all that much more worthwhile," says Len Adler, a wealth adviser for JP Morgan in Palm Beach, Fla. He and colleagues at Morgan have seen a noticeable increase in clients who are willing to pull up stakes to save taxes.
Out west, California residents, who pay one of the highest income-tax rates in the nation -- 9.3% -- are hopping across the border to Nevada, the region's biggest tax haven, with no income or estate taxes. It's not just Las Vegas -- Californians also are settling into the likes of Reno and Carson City
In all, California suffered a 693,730 net decline in its population so far this decade, despite a burgeoning immigrant population. One of those departing was Michael Todd, 58, a real-estate developer and consultant. Fed up with the Golden State's income tax and rising property taxes, Todd and his wife, Cheryl, relocated from Orange County to Prescott, Ariz. Says he: "Our state income taxes are 30% lower, and we're paying less in property taxes even though we've got a lot more home for our money."
Not surprisingly, many states are feeling the drain of fleeing taxpayers. At a time of serious competition between states for jobs and tax revenues, "states with high taxes are losing their wealthiest and most successful taxpayers, as well as businesses, and they're not creating as many jobs," says Dan Clifton of Americans for Tax Reform.