NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


February 5, 2010

Too many of those pain-in-the-neck productive people living in your state, making everyone else look bad?  Want to get rid of them?  Let the Garden State show you how it's done through the tax code, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD). 

At one time in the not-too-distant past, New Jersey was by some measures the wealthiest state in the country.  No more.  Wealth is fleeing at an alarming rate, says IBD: 

  • Between 2004 and 2008, more than $70 billion in wealth headed for the exit, according to a new study by Boston College's Center on Wealth and Philanthropy.
  • Worse, it's not being replaced; though more people moved into the state than moved out during the period of the study, the net worth of the people who fled was, at $618,300, 70 percent higher.
  • Those who left also tended to be better educated, more entrepreneurial and more professional. 

The problem isn't New Jersey's cold winters.  The productive are leaving for states where the climate is more favorable.  Increases in levies on income, sales, property and millionaires have all contributed to the exodus, says IBD. 

This, of course, should be a lesson for lawmakers everywhere: Keep taxes low.  If you don't, the wealthiest among us, who tend to be the most productive, will find more favorable places to put talents and energy to work, says IBD. 

Source: Editorial, "The New Jersey Exit," Investor's Business Daily, February 4, 2010. 

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