California News

New Study Shows California’s High Taxes Are Driving Out Big Earners

Wall Street Journal-


Democrats in California have raised taxes on the rich again and again, and liberals claim it has no effect on taxpayer migration and does no harm to state tax revenue. A new study finds the opposite.

Stanford economists Joshua Rauh and Ryan Shyu analyzed how high earners responded to a 2012 referendum (Prop. 30) backed by Democrats that raised the top marginal rate on taxpayers with more than $1 million of income to 13.3% from 10.3%. The top rates on individuals earning more than $250,000 also rose between one and two percentage points.

First, the researchers examined whether higher taxes caused top earners to leave the state by measuring migration before and after Prop. 30 took effect. They noted a large uptick in the departure rate of taxpayers with more than $5 million in income following the tax hike—from 1.5% to 2.125%—and a commensurate outflow for taxpayers earning between $2 million and $5 million.

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