Dear Wall Street Journal: No Need to File a Missing Persons Report, Oregon’s High-Income Taxpayers Have Not “Vanished”report
The Wall Street Journal recently published an editorial suggesting that a 2 percentage point increase in Oregon’s top income tax rate caused up to 10,000 wealthy Oregonians to flee the state. In support of its claim, the Journal points to new data showing that 10,000 fewer Oregonians were affected by this tax increase than the state’s Legislative Revenue Office (LRO) had originally anticipated.
But there is a much simpler explanation for this discrepancy, and it’s made clear both in the LRO data and in its analysis of that data. These 10,000 taxpayers earned less than the LRO expected in 2009 as a result of the economic recession, and therefore fell below the income threshold at the new brackets took effect.