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Do the Wealthy Relocate to States with Lower Taxes?

New study rejects theory that wealthy residents will relocate to a new state if taxes are increased.

Legislative fears that wealthy residents will leave a state if taxes are raised are unfounded according to a study discussed in "Higher Taxes Don't Scare Millionaires Into Fleeing Their Homes After All" published recently by Private Wealth.

State governments across the U.S. face a dilemma because legislators often fear that if they raise taxes on their wealthiest residents, those residents have the means and ability to move to other states that have lower taxes.

The possibility of this happening is guaranteed to be mentioned in any legislative debate about the appropriate amount to tax the wealthy.

The new study looked at 13 years of data and concluded that very few wealthy people move to pay lower taxes. The study found that rich people move because of taxes only 2.2% of the time. In fact, millionaires move to different states at a lower annual rate than the general population.

People who only make $10,000 a year are more likely to move to another state than are millionaires. The reason for this is that wealthy people are not normally idle. They are employed or own their own businesses. They cannot simply pick up and move.

This study looked at income tax rates. It will most likely be cited in estate tax debates as well. That could be a mistake as once the wealthy retire it stands to reason that it is easier for them to move.

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