My move to the Silver State has gotten some comments from two other tax bloggers, Joe Kristan (Roth Tax Updates) and Paul Caron (TaxProf Blog). In the TaxProf Blog post, there’s a link to statistics on migration from within the US to and from California. The numbers are quite revealing.

In the most recent year for which statistics are available (2008), California gained 3,667 tax returns from migration but lost $829 million of Adjusted Gross Income from migration. (Note that this is income, not tax dollars, and is based on federal AGI, not California AGI.) What this clearly shows is that high-earning taxpayers fled California for greener pastures: Texas, Oregon, and Nevada gained the most AGI from California. (The numbers come from the Tax Foundation, and are available here.)

Net Increase/ Net Increase/
(Decrease) of (Decrease) of
CA Returns CA AGI
[$ in 000s]
1993 (138,251) $          (7,398,356)
1994 (111,940) $          (6,320,105)
1995 (73,660) $          (4,295,887)
1996 (28,611) $          (1,611,444)
1997 (8,583) $             (524,257)
1998 (9,676) $             (735,147)
1999 (6,273) $             (458,276)
2000 7,591 $                467,012
2001 (29,959) $          (2,805,962)
2002 (27,379) $          (2,671,237)
2003 (42,672) $          (3,247,756)
2004 (71,963) $          (5,093,362)
2005 (79,589) $          (5,659,718)
2006 (68,454) $          (4,774,491)
2007 (34,379) $          (2,524,154)
2008 3,667 $             (828,842)
Total (720,131) $       (48,481,982)

 

You may ask, hasn’t California’s population increased from 32 million in 1994 to 37 million in 2010? That’s absolutely correct; the increase is from births and deaths and immigration to California from outside of the US. Unfortunately, a large number of Californian’s who were earning good incomes have decided to enjoy their gold in places other than the Golden State.