Monday, April 23, 2012

Where you gonna live?

Californians are increasingly pursuing happiness elsewhere.
Nearly four million more people have left the Golden State in the last two decades than have come from other states. This is a sharp reversal from the 1980s, when 100,000 more Americans were settling in California each year than were leaving. Most of those leaving are between the ages of 5 and 14 or 34 to 45. In other words, young families.
Taxes are harming the private economy. According to the Tax Foundation, California has the 48th-worst business tax climate. Its income tax is steeply progressive. Millionaires pay a top rate of 10.3%, the third-highest in the country. But middle-class workers—those who earn more than $48,000—pay a top rate of 9.3%, which is higher than what millionaires pay in 47 states. And Democrats want to raise taxes even more.
We're going to see a lot more of these people migrations, and would be seeing more now except that so  many people can't move because of the lousy housing market.

My own state, Connecticut, is doing everything it can to encourage me to leave.
Congratulations, Connecticut residents. You're No. 1. 
Unfortunately, it's a distinction most of us don't want. In this case, it means we have to work longer than the residents of any other state, until May 5, to reach Tax Freedom Day.
Tax Freedom Day varies from state to state because the tax burden in each state varies. It's the day when the average American has, theoretically, earned enough to cover his or her tax burden for the entire year. 
According to the Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan educational organization with business links, Connecticut residents have to work the longest -- 125 days -- to cover all taxes at the federal, state and local levels.
The big winners in terms of growth were in the South, with Texas, Florida and North Carolina as the leading in-migration states. 
Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia also ranked in the top 10. Overall, the Southern states reaped 95% of the inter-regional net domestic migration (people moving from one state to another). Arizona, another state widely written off, enjoyed an 11th place finish, with a net gain over 13,000.
And the losers:
As has been the case for most of the past few decades, California has once again been the biggest loser, not of pounds, losing 113,000 people. Following close behind are California and Illinois, all of which are once again losing people in large numbers to other places.
People go -- have to go -- where the jobs are, and where they have the best chance of keeping their money out of the politicians' hands.

Follow the jobs. Here's where they're going:

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