Tax people more, and watch them leave

Brian Dowling explains in a Boston Herald column why a plan in Taxachu … er, Massachusetts could backfire on lawmakers.

The so-called millionaires tax being added to next year’s November ballot is raising concerns that hiking rates on the Bay State’s most moneyed few might backfire on the budget as the rich seek shelter in Florida or New Hampshire.

Pioneer Institute Research Director Greg Sullivan said his staff is looking at data from the state Department of Revenue to predict whether the proposed change would trigger such a migration.

Howie Carr column: Don’t expect the rich folks to stay and pay

“There have been dueling economic studies extending back decades about the subject of tax flight. Is it real?” Sullivan said. “This is a very substantial, legitimate question that should be forensically analyzed to the satisfaction of reasonable people and economists.”

The Bay State ballot question proposes a 4 percent higher tax on income above $1 million.

Two billionaires in Connecticut fled last year for Florida after the Nutmeg State raised its highest tax bracket to 6.99 percent, up from 6.7 percent.

New Jersey’s most wealthy resident left for the Sunshine State in 2015, throwing the state’s budget in disarray.

It’s another reminder that North Carolina has pursued a different approach to taxation in recent years.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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