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New study: Higher state taxes no deterrent to attracting the ultra-rich

We’ve all heard the right-wing talking point so many times that we can repeat it by heart: “High state taxes are scaring off successful people (i.e rich people) and forcing them to move to lower tax states.”

The only problem with this mantra: it ain’t so.

According to a new report sponsored by the Swiss financial conglomerate UBS entitled “The World Ultra Wealth Report 2013,” Amercian higher tax states continue to attract boatloads of fat cats — what the report politely refers to as “ultra high net worth ” individuals — worth $30 million or more. Indeed, California, home to the highest taxes on rich folks in the country, saw its plutocrat population shoot up by 14.7% just last year. New York, also home to higher taxes was second overall and reported 4.1% growth. Supposedly liberal Massachusetts has the fastest-growing tycoon population of all. 

Meanwhile, here in the Old North State, where conservative think tankers continually lament the supposed deleterious impact of the state’s “high marginal income tax rates,” the über-rich population expanded by more than 20% last year – seventh fastest in the nation. More than 1,100 magnates now live in North Carolina.

Here’s a chart from the report taken from a story in The Huffington Post:

Ultra-rich by state

5 Comments


  1. NitWitCharmer

    November 18, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    And people believe studies??

    Science is more than a patina.

  2. Alan

    November 18, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    And people believe the Tea-Party???

    And a bedpan is more than a urinal….

  3. Skeptic

    November 18, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    This is pretty f*cking obvious. Rich people live in New York (finance), LA (entertainment) and Silicon Valley (technology). There are also a few in DC (lobbyists/defense contractors), Chicago (corporate management, advertising, industrials) and Miami (real estate). Florida may not have an income tax, but Miami’s local taxes are sky high. The only place with low taxes AND lots of rich people is Texas. How people fail to see this rather obvious pattern is beyond me.

  4. NCCaniac42

    November 19, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Well, it is obvious.. as ‘Skeptic’ pointed out – but the other telling comment – when your state has NO income taxes – IE FLA – municipalities need to make it up in other ways – Dade County/Miami having high local taxes. Who pays the taxes in FLA – visitors – by the high hotel tax/car rental tax and any other tax they can saddle onto the tourists.

  5. GOP Rules

    November 19, 2013 at 11:36 am

    How about you take out the bloated effects of Hollywood from the California numbers. The same can be said about NY state. Take out the effects of the huge dollars flowing through the financial hub of the world and you have a different story. There are not too many other cities/states where you have to be in a particular geographic area. If you take out the variable where people have to be where their chosen industry is located then the state tax effect will be more aparent.

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