Archive for the ‘Arizona’ Category

The Flow of AGI from One State to Another

Saturday, July 20th, 2013

From watchdog.org comes an interesting interactive map showing how money has flowed from state to state. Back when I moved to Nevada from California, I noted this issue. Here’s yet more verification that this is real.

The five biggest losers were:
1. New York ($68.10 billion in annual Adjusted Gross Income (AGI))
2. California ($45.27 billion in annual AGI)
3. Illinois ($29.27 billion in annual AGI)
4. New Jersey ($20.62 billion in annual AGI)
5. Ohio ($18.39 billion in annual AGI)

The five biggest winners were:
1. Florida ($95.61 billion in annual AGI)
2. Arizona ($28.30 billion in annual AGI)
3. North Carolina ($25.12 billion in annual AGI)
4. Texas ($24.94 billion in annual AGI)
5. Nevada ($18.17 billion in annual AGI)

Sure, some of this is retirees moving from the snow belt to the sun belt. But California is anything but part of the snow belt; it’s clear that successful individuals are fleeing high tax states for low tax states. We here in Nevada are appreciative of the $9.59 billion in annual AGI that has moved from the Bronze Golden State to the Silver State.

Interestingly, the interactive map allows you to look county-by-county. The areas that one would think would show AGI growth are losing AGI. The area around Silicon Valley has lost AGI; so have Los Angeles and Orange County. Sure, some of this is retirees moving to the desert (Riverside County, which includes Palm Springs, showed an increase in AGI). However, there is no chance that this is just caused by retirees.

Taxes matter, and individuals absolutely do relocate because of taxes.

Phoenix Woos California Businesses

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

“For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” That’s Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion, something I learned in physics years ago. It’s also true about what happens when taxes increase. Options that businesses would rather not look at become things businesses start considering.

For years I’ve noted that as California increases taxes, businesses start looking at moving to Las Vegas, Denver, and Phoenix. Shock of shocks, with Proposition 30 passing in California, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council decided that now is a good time to actively pursue California businesses. Yes, Phoenix’s summer climate is brutal (just like Las Vegas), but there’s a good workforce, low taxes and regulations, and plenty of housing.

A hint to California: As you continue making the state more and more hostile to businesses, businesses are forced to react. No business wants to move (it’s expensive and disruptive), but like my business that moved last year, eventually the desert wastes of Las Vegas or Phoenix start looking really attractive.

The Cubs Tax

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

I’m a Cubs fan. I grew up in Chicago, and I loved going to games at Wrigley Field. The Cubs will start spring training in a couple of weeks in Mesa, Arizona. And that’s what this story is all about.

The Cubs stadium in Arizona, Hohokam Stadium, is old (by Cactus League standards). The training complex isn’t up-to-date either. So the Cubs want to modernize, and the estimated cost is $119 million. The Cubs and other private entities would contribute $60 million; the public (in Arizona) is being asked to contribute $59 million.

That $59 million would come through bonds and be paid back through new taxes: a higher car rental tax and a surcharge on spring training tickets. Legislation to put this into law will be introduced in the Arizona House on Monday by Majority Leader John McComish (R-Ahwatukee Foothills).

The legislation is opposed by 14 of 15 Cactus League teams according to Derrick Hall, the President of the Arizona Diamondbacks. (Presumably, the Cubs are in favor of it.) The Cubs are the biggest draw in the Cactus League, with games at Hohokam drawing nearly 11,000 fans while the average Cactus League games draws 6,400.. “The Cubs are the linchpin of the Cactus League, McComish told the Arizona Republic.

Of course, there is some irony in all of this. Jerry Reinsdorf, owner of the Chicago White Sox, criticized the Cubs’ deal. Scott Smith, Mayor of Mesa, noted, “Is this the same Jerry Reinsdorf that skipped out on Pima County taxpayers who had spent tens of millions of dollars to provide him with a taxpayer-funded stadium, to come to Glendale, where Maricopa County taxpayers provided him a Taj Mahal spring-training facility?”

Given the current budget and anti-tax increase climate, it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

A Cardinal in Tax Trouble

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

The Arizona Cardinals didn’t make it to this year’s Super Bowl. But Safety Antrel Rolle has made it into the news today.

Forbes is reporting that Rolle has sued the IRS in US Tax Court. Mr. Rolle was recently audited, and his audit was held in Sacramento rather than in the Los Angeles area (where his advisors were). He is claiming that the IRS violated his due process and didn’t follow the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

Underlying the Tax Court case is an audit that apparently didn’t turn out so well for Mr. Rolle. Mr. Rolle is a resident of somewhere. His tax return said Fair Oaks (a suburb of Sacramento). Or maybe it was a light industrial park in Granada Hills (a section of Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley). He gave substantial donations to churches. One church’s address was in a copy shop maildrop…”We’re not even open on Sundays,” a worker joked to Forbes. Another church’s address is a dermatologists office. Mail sent to the address of his business in Chandler, Arizona (a suburb of Phoenix) is returned as “undeliverable;” that address apparently doesn’t exist. Given the dollar amounts involved (charitable contributions in the millions, income discrepancies in the millions, etc.), I can see how the audit might have turned very unpleasant.

In any case, Mr. Rolle will, eventually, get his day in Tax Court. His attorney is annoyed that Forbes was able to read the complaint. As Forbes noted, Tax Court records are public documents. This case figures to be quite entertaining.

Hat Tip: Tax Prof Blog

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