Residents from high-tax states in the Northeast, including New York and Connecticut, continued to flee onerous tax burdens and head to states where their obligations were likely to be much lower in 2018.
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According to recently released data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which captures the first few months the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act went into effect, Florida received a significant number of new residents from not only New York, but also New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.
In 2018, about 63,033 New Yorkers fled to Florida, which is essentially the same amount as the year prior. New York’s outflows to the Sunshine State were by far the largest of any other U.S. state.
The move can make a substantial financial difference for some: An individual or couple earning $650,000 in ordinary income could save $69,719 per year by moving from New York to Florida.
The Sunshine State not only has no statewide income tax, it also has no estate or inheritance tax. President Trump recently announced that he would be changing his primary residence from New York to Palm Beach, Fla., citing the millions of dollars of taxes he paid in New York, as well as perceived poor treatment by local politicians.
There was an increase in new Florida residents from two other high-tax states in the Northeast as well: Connecticut from which more than 18,290 people moved out, and Massachusetts from which 20,314 headed south.
More than 30,100 New Jersey residents relocated to Florida, and 31,712 arrived in the Sunshine State from Pennsylvania. Individuals leaving New Jersey for Florida could save more than $58,300 annually.
The latest Census Bureau data tracks moving patterns in the year that ended in July 2018.
An exodus of people from high-tax states accelerated when discussions regarding the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was signed into law in 2017, indicated that state and local tax deductions were likely to be capped at $10,000. The cap has caused pain for residents in high-tax states since it was well below the average amounts claimed by individuals. Before the cap, the average deduction claimed in California, for example, was $22,000, according to Kevin de Leon, a Democratic member of the California Senate.
Unsurprisingly, California, which has the highest income tax rates in the U.S., is also losing residents to lower-tax states. More than 86,160 Golden State residents left for Texas last year, and 68,516 went to Arizona. More than 55,460 left for Washington, and more than 50,700 went to Nevada. Of those top four destinations, three have no state income tax. Arizona does, but rates are significantly lower than California.
As previously reported by FOX Business, the SALT exodus could be in its nascent stages, too. It is likely to accelerate as people become increasingly frustrated with their heightened tax liabilities.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo credited the SALT cap and the flight of the wealthy for a $2.3 billion budget deficit in the state. He called the Empire State's fiscal situation “as serious as a heart attack.”