Would Proposition 55 increase California’s losses to other states?

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Bakersfield attorney Steve Nichols, who came to California as an infant in 1953 – one of the millions who migrated in the post-World War II period – has given up on the state.

“I personally have bought a home out of state for retirement,” Nichols volunteered in an email this week. “I am a high-income taxpayer but don’t want all my money being wasted in the future on irresponsible projects and retirement benefits for public servants.”

“That same decision is being made by hundreds of thousands of people in the state,” Nichols continued, “but our elected officials don’t see the writing on the wall.”

Nichols has company. California has been a net loser in state-to-state migration for two-plus decades, particularly during severe recessions, such as the aerospace meltdown in the early 1990s that saw more than a million Californians leave.

Between 2007 and 2014, California lost 625,000 in net domestic migration, but despite that loss and a net decline in foreign immigration to near zero, its population continued to grow, primarily due to its having more than twice as many births as deaths.

As The New York Times put it in an analysis: “California has long been the destination of American dreamers from other states. It no longer plays that role; residents are leaving for greener pastures out East.”

“In 1960, half of California residents were born in another U.S. state,” the article noted. “Today, that’s down to 18 percent.”

For the most part, Californians who leave – Texas being their most popular destination – are low- to middle-income workers who lack higher educations and want better jobs and lower housing costs.

Domestic migrants to California, meanwhile, tend to be young and well-educated, seeking their fortunes in technology or other cutting-edge fields, thus blunting the economic impact of outflow – and perhaps even creating a net economic gain.

But could we see a new exodus by those with high educations and incomes, like Nichols?

Astronomical costs in the San Francisco Bay Area are putting home purchases out of reach even for families with six-figure incomes and hammering middle-income renters. Eventually, many must opt for either long commutes from less-expensive communities or fleeing to tech centers in other states, such as Austin, Texas.

And then there’s Proposition 55, which is likely to pass, extending temporary hikes in income taxes on highest-income Californians for an additional 12 years, with the high likelihood that they would become permanent thereafter.

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2 Responses to Would Proposition 55 increase California’s losses to other states?

  1. Branson Hunter
    Branson Hunter September 28, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    Likewise, the city council is aboard the “new taxes bandwagon.” The 29 Palms Council has also been unkind to local homeowners and property owners by voting for new property taxes ($33,000,000 bond debt), assessments and fees. This includes career politician Joel Klink who want another term.

    Fool homeowners once Joel Klink and shame on you. Fool home owners twice and shame on the electorate if they reelecting Mr. Klink to 16 concurrent years as a councilmember — to which shall include a city council retirement and lifetime medical benefits.

    The council has shown it has no remorse to stick it to families, seniors and other homeowners.

    Vote wisely come November.

  2. Avatar
    Mark Clemons October 4, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    California income tax is atrocious, Washington no income tax but sales tax are atrocious Oregon has no sales tax but their property tax is atrocious, so you better be poor in California best not purchase in Washington or own property in Oregon. Texas on the other hand has a problem with over enforcement of non-victim code along with high property tax, all in all Wyoming has the least tax burden but the wind never stops and the snow gets deep. Oklahoma has a workers compensation rates as high as California and the workers like unemployment. Hawaii has a gross business tax mean labor unions and they don’t understand why no flip flops at work if and when they get to work, Utah I’ll just say this, state religion. Arizona Janet Brewer and Sheriff Joe, and no natural rights in Arizona, Nevada Harry Ried, Idaho Mark Forman and the rest of the retired LAPD not to mention its high property tax, New Mexico the snobs of Taos and like Hawaii they have a gross business tax, Colorado has such an influx form the legalization and the quest for personal freedom the average time a home is on the market is under a week, the prices going through the roof its forcing out the hardworking poor. , we find no free rides Maybe trump can add a class on how to avoid taxes at Trump University. I need to know how it’s done.


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