Wirepoints came out with a new study on IRS data for 2019 that clearly shows New Jersey’s loss of people and wealth. For 2019, NJ lost -26,528 people, and as shown in the graph below, a net $3.1 billion of adjusted gross income, 4th worst in the nation. The top of the list of losing states should be very familiar to Sunlight’s readers.
As the authors point out, not only does NJ lose this income for 2019, it will lose this income every year for the rest of these out-migrators’ lives. The cumulative toll on states with serious outmigration problems is staggering: the study reveals that from 2000 to 2019, New York lost a total of $892 billion of income. By comparison, zero-income-tax Florida gained $1.4 trillion.
Sunlight decided to compare the 10 biggest losing states with the 10 biggest winning states in terms of their Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate rankings: the biggest losers were in the bottom third (average ranking of 40), and the biggest winners were in the top third (average ranking of 16). As Sunlight addressed earlier this week, New Jersey has seen its number of Fortune 500 companies dwindle from 22 in 2006 to 15 now, a drop of 32%. The Wirepoints study provides the hard data on the true costs of such losses.
Of course, it remains to be seen how migratory shifts from the COVID pandemic will ultimately affect NJ, but Sunlight would stress two points about the Wirepoints study:
1) Last year, Gov. Murphy continued to raise taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals. This pleases Murphy’s public union pals who always want higher taxes and more government revenues that can be spent on them, but the higher taxes ensure that NJ’s outmigration of people, businesses and wealth will continue into the future. Long after Murphy is gone, NJ citizens will be feeling the pain.
2) New Jersey Policy Perspective President Brandon McKoy likes to play down NJ’s outmigration crisis because to do otherwise would be to undermine his public union benefactors, which he would never do. But this IRS data puts the lie to his claims. As Wirepoints shows, McKoy and NJPP’s “research” in this area cannot be taken seriously.
Under Murphy, NJ finds itself in an outmigration hole of its own making and yet keeps digging the hole deeper. Good for the public unions, bad for New Jersey.