Taxpayers Fleeing Blue States Take $26.8 Billion in Gross Income to Red States

IRS data tracking state-to-state migration shows that blue states saw a net outflow of hundreds of thousands of taxpayers who took nearly $27 billion in taxable gross income with them to red states. The most recent IRS migration data shows that in the years 2017-2018, a net 399,892 taxpayers and their dependents left blue states—in this case defined as those in which both the state House and Senate are Democrat-controlled. The figures are based on 2018-2019 tax returns and exemptions, reflecting 2017-2018 state-to-state flows of people. The IRS considers tax returns a proxy for households, while exemptions are a good approximation for the number of individual taxpayers and their dependents. The nearly 400,000 taxpayers and dependents—a little over 1 percent of the U.S. population—who left blue states took with them a net $26.8 billion in taxable adjusted gross income to red states. Democrat-controlled California (167,563), New York (153,970), and Illinois (82,107) …

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