April 28, 2021

MarketWatch: Some lower-tax states won big in the 2020 Census count. Are Americans moving to escape the taxman?

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Carl Davis, research director at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a left-leaning think tank, sees the Census results quite differently. “I really don’t see a tax story here,” he said. Weather and housing prices are far stronger ingredients in moving decisions than tax bills, he said.

Besides, the latest Census numbers maintained the long-running trend of outsized population growth in the South and West, Davis noted. Between 2000 and 2010, the South grew 14.3% and the West grew 13.8% while the Northeast grew 3.2% and the Midwest grew 3.9%, Census data shows.

When it comes to state head counts and tax rules, Davis said, “there’s so many examples that cut in the other direction. It’s hard to see a meaningful trend here.” Read more