Voting with their feet: Low-tax states gain residents from high tax ones

Victor Joecks

The census happens every ten years and one of the interesting things it shows this year is how people are moving from high-tax and spending states into states with less government.

There are eight states projected to gain at least one Congressional seat. Texas will gain four seats and Florida will gain two. Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Washington are poised to gain one seat each. The biggest losers will be New York and Ohio – both projected to lose two seats – while Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania are on track to lose one seat each.

The average top personal income tax rate among gainers is 116 percent lower than among losers. The total state and local tax burden is nearly one-third lower, as is per capita government spending. In eight of ten losers, workers can be forced to join a union as a condition of employment. In 7 of the 8 gainers, workers are given a choice whether to join or contribute financially to a union.

This is great news and quite a validation for fiscal conservatives, but it should come with a slight warning. People often move away from states once the impacts of liberalism are clear, but it doesn’t mean they change their beliefs. If anything conservatives and libertarians are going to have to work even harder in the next ten years to help their new neighbors see the light.