Looks like naked money grabs have consequences after all.
Leslie Kwoh of the Star Ledger writes about the massive flight of the wealthy from the state of New Jersey (emphasis added):
More than $70 billion in wealth left New Jersey between 2004 and 2008 as affluent residents moved elsewhere, according to a report released Wednesday that marks a swift reversal of fortune for a state once considered the nation’s wealthiest.
Conducted by the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College, the report found wealthy households in New Jersey were leaving for other states — mainly Florida, Pennsylvania and New York — at a faster rate than they were being replaced.
“The wealth is not being replaced,” said John Havens, who directed the study. “It’s above and beyond the general trend that is affecting the rest of the northeast.”
This was not always the case. The study – the first on interstate wealth migration in the country — noted the state actually saw an influx of $98 billion in the five years preceding 2004. The exodus of wealth, then, local experts and economists concluded, was a reaction to a series of changes in the state’s tax structure — including increases in the income, sales, property and “millionaire” taxes.
“This study makes it crystal clear that New Jersey’s tax policies are resulting in a significant decline in the state’s wealth,” said Dennis Bone, chairman of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and president of Verizon New Jersey.
Very smart, New Jersey. Scare off the job creators and the philanthropists so the masses can temporarily feel better about themselves. After last month’s passage of the soak-the-rich referendum in Oregon I expect wealthy Oregonians to follow their over-taxed New Jersey counterparts and move to low-tax states.
That’s great news for my state. New Jersey’s and Oregon’s losses will be Florida’s gain. In fact, I think Florida should actively recruit these fleeing high-tax refugees. We’d be more than happy to take advantage of their charitable largesse, they’re massive spending power and their ability and willingness to create new jobs.