Original post date: October 03, 2013
Article by: Anonymous
From Travis H. Brown comes How Money Walks, detailing the movement of wealth within the United States. Though the site exists to promote the book of the same name, it contains a map detailing wealth migration among the states since 1992- a map that has garnered attention because it shows a tendency for money to move from highly taxed and regulated states to those with more lenient policies.
According to the map, which was assembled from IRS data, Florida has benefited the most from this movement, with a gain of over $95 billion. For the sake of comparison, Arizona (which holds the #2 spot) only gained $28.3 billion, not even a third of what Florida gained. New York and New Jersey contributed (by far) the most to these gains, with New York losing around $19 billion and New Jersey $11.41 billion to the Sunshine State. It is also worth noting that you can track individual counties. For Florida, the biggest winners were a strip along the Gulf coast (from Citrus County to Collier) and most of the Atlantic coast.
Of course, there are other factors at play. The elderly (who are more likely to be wealthy) have been retiring to Florida for ages for reasons that have nothing to do with taxes; Washington, a state not particularly known for its conservative politics, also made respectable gains. Still, it’s hard to deny that the data seems consistent with the warnings of tax hawks; the major losers were states known for restrictive economic policies (New York, New Jersey, California), and the winners tended to be those with a more hands-off approach (Florida, Texas, Nevada).
The debate over the consequences of tax policies has been raging for a long time, and “How Money Walks” probably won’t change that. However, it does provide some interesting data for discussion, and it’s much more intuitive than the usual fodder.