There’s a very obvious lesson here for the national advocates of fixing all our problems with a 70% or 80% tax rate.
Here’s the view from Chicago and New York.
Illinois residents are fleeing for more economically hospitable states. They go to Texas, Florida and other Sun Belt states because job prospects are better, tax burdens are lower and the weather is more temperate. The Exodus is real. It’s damaging Illinois. And it may be getting worse.
The warning comes from a fellow sufferer, otherwise known as the governor of New York. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo reports that New York state income tax revenue last year came up short by a projected $2.3 billion. Cuomo partially blames the departure of wealthy residents from his high-tax state in the wake of federal tax reform, which put a limit on the amount of state and local taxes that can be deducted on federal income tax forms.
When New York, already expensive, put an even higher tax burden on residents, some New Yorkers who could afford to leave did so. In Cuomo’s memorable phrase on Monday: “Tax the rich. Tax the rich. Tax the rich. We did that. God forbid the rich leave.”
As of Tuesday we hadn’t seen an estimated 2018 tax revenue figure from Springfield, but a trend’s a trend. There’s reason to anticipate that some affluent, mobile residents of Illinois will reach the same conclusions as their brethren from New York that they’d be better off financially in a different locale. The Wall Street Journal reports that growing numbers of wealthy tax refugees from New York, New Jersey and Illinois are showing up in Miami to buy condos.
Of course Senator Warren knows this. If her tax rates, which carefully exclude her own wealth level, pass, she’ll be the first to dodge them.
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