Fear of rich people moving for tax reasons is overblown, says Carl Davis, research director at the left-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, or ITEP. Studies show the wealthy actually move less often than other Americans.
“A billionaire can obviously afford to live wherever they want,” Davis said. “There’s no reason on Earth that they should choose where to spend their lives based on a state tax rate that will have zero impact on their standard of living.”
Though some wealthy residents end up leaving, the total number of millionaires in high-tax states has actually been rising. California had 91,560 tax filers with at least $1 million in income in 2018, twice as many as in Texas or Florida, according to an ITEP analysis released in September.