It is called voting with your feet.
From July 1, 2017, to July 1, 2018, Nevada’s population grew by 62,000 people to more than 3 million — a growth rate of 2.09 percent, the fastest in the nation. This included a net migration of 48,000 people
Many of them came from neighboring California, with its high taxes, high housing costs and burdensome regulations.
So, let that be a lessen to our newly elected Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak and the Democratic majorities in the state Senate and Assembly, which will be in session in a matter of weeks.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the eight fastest-growing states by population last year were Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Florida, Washington, Colorado and Texas. What do these states have in common? Relatively low taxes and business friendly government policies, a Journal editorial noted. Nevada, Texas, Washington and Florida have no income tax, for example.
Then there is California. Since 2010, a net 710,000 people have left California for other states.
High-tax states Illinois and Connecticut have actually lost population as people flee.
According to the Tax Foundation’s latest figures, California has the 10th highest state and local tax burden in the nation at $5,842 per capita. This compares to Nevada’s rank of 29nd at $4,099 per capita. It should be noted that three years earlier, prior to some recent Republican-backed tax hikes, Nevada ranked 43rd lowest.
In an article in The Wall Street Journal in 2009 under the headline, “Soak the Rich, Lose the Rich,” economist Arthur Laffer and WSJ economics writer Stephen Moore updated previous studies and found that from 1998 to 2007, more than 1,100 people every day of the year relocated from the nine highest income-tax states — such as California, New Jersey, New York and Ohio — mostly to the nine tax-haven states with no income tax — including Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire and Texas.
Laffer and Moore determined that over that period of time the no-income tax states created 89 percent more jobs and had 32 percent faster personal income growth than the high-tax states.
“Dozens of academic studies — old and new — have found clear and irrefutable statistical evidence that high state and local taxes repel jobs and businesses,” Laffer and Moore concluded.
Federalism allows the states to compete for prosperity. Let’s hope our lawmakers take heed and act accordingly.
A version of this editorial appeared this week in some of the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel, Sparks Tribune and the Lincoln County Record.