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Low taxes earn Florida No. 1 rank in wealth migration

By   /   July 23, 2013  /   News  /   4 Comments

By William Patrick | Florida Watchdog

TALLAHASSEE – It’s been said that people vote with their feet. But they often vote with their money too, and that’s certainly been good for Florida.

WE’RE NO. 1: More wealth migrated to Florida than any other state over the past two decades.

A new study by Travis H. Brown called How Money Walks explores how people and money migrate from one state to another. And although the exact causes are difficult to nail down, one thing is clear: Americans are moving from high-tax and heavily regulated states to low-tax states with less regulation.

That’s according to the data Brown gathered from the Internal Revenue Service Division of Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Since 1992, no other state has benefited more from wealth migration than Florida.

An estimated $95.6 billion poured into the state economy, dwarfing Arizona’s next highest gain of $28 billion.

Almost half of Florida’s capital influx came by way of New York, New Jersey and Illinois.

One reason, according to Brown, is Florida’s personal state income tax rate. New York and New Jersey share a top rate of 9 percent while Illinois charges 3 percent of an individual’s gross federal income. But the Florida rate is zero across-the-board.

Similarly, Florida’s 5.5 percent corporate income tax rate is almost half of Illinois’s and well beneath New York and Jersey – an attractive lure for employers willing to relocate.

When adding in lower costs of living and sunny weather, it’s no wonder the Sunshine State’s population grew 23.5 percent since 1990, according to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates Florida’s population to be only 200,000 residents behind New York.

“For a state like Florida, you’re seeing a massive amount of people and their income coming in,” said Brown in an interview with Fox Business host John Stossel.

Watch the latest video at video.foxbusiness.com

Here’s a look at the Florida numbers:

Gained Wealth From:

$18.92 billion New York
$11.41 billion New Jersey
$6.77 billion Illinois
$6.46 billion Ohio
$6.34 billion Pennsylvania


Lost Wealth To:

$1.70 billion North Carolina
$801.36 million Tennessee
$476.30 million Arizona
$462.62 million South Carolina
$313.63 million Texas


Within the state, the gulf coast from Tampa to Naples gained nearly $32 billion while Miami lost $5.6 billion.

Contact William Patrick at [email protected] or follow Florida Watchdog on Twitter at @watchdogfla Like Watchdog.org? Click HERE to get breaking news alerts in YOUR state!


William Patrick is Watchdog.org’s Florida reporter. His work has been featured by Fox News, the Drudge Report, and Townhall.com, as well as other national news and opinion websites. He’s also been cited and reposted by numerous state news organizations, including Florida Trend, Sunshine State News and the Miami Herald, and is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Florida Press Association. William’s work has impacted discussions on education, privacy, criminal justice reform, and government and corporate accountability. Prior to joining Watchdog, William worked for the James Madison Institute in Tallahassee, Fla. There, he launched a legislative news website covering state economic issues. After leaving New York City in 2010, William worked for the Florida Attorney General’s Office where he assisted state attorneys general in prosecuting Medicaid Fraud. William graduated magna cum laude from Hunter College, City University of New York. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife and three young children.

  • Urbane_Gorilla

    I live in California and am looking at moving to Florida. Aside from the mentioning that State Taxes are subject to credits and deductions which reduce income (my State taxes in California are normally in the $1000 per year range on an income of $60,000 for example) , I’m guessing the dirt cheap real estate is why anyone would leave families and friends to move to Florida..and that isn’t a positive thing for Florida. A home that might cost you $250,000 in the States mentioned can be had for $75,000 to $90,000 in Florida. And because real estate collapsed there, tax collections are abysmally low, making running the State very difficult. I’ll be traveling there in September to look around, and I expect to see understaffed State functions, police services and fire departments.

  • Max

    Florida had to cut unnecessary services like everywhere else, however, police and fire departments are well and doing fine

  • Max

    The main problem we have with people coming from those high tax areas is they vote to bring the high taxation with them.

  • Willie

    Yep, this is why Florida is a swing state. They go to Florida after they screw up their own state and they vote democrat again. Please, if you live in one of those three states, stay there.