How Taxpayers Vote with their Feet: Q&A with Author Travis Brown

"We know that voters prefer to go where their income is most protected and most welcome," says Travis Brown, author of the new book, How Money Walks.

Reason Magazine's Matt Welch caught up with Brown to discuss how people have moved across state lines to avoid paying high income taxes. Brown says Freedom Fest's home state of Nevada is a hot spot.

"Billions of dollars are leaving California as they raise marginal income taxes, in favor of coming to Nevada," says Brown. "Nevada is one of nine states with zero income tax."

Held each July in Las Vegas, Freedom Fest is attended by around 2,000 limited-government enthusiasts and libertarians. Reason TV spoke with over two dozen speakers and attendees and will be releasing interviews over the coming weeks. Go here for an ever-growing playlist of this year's interviews.

About 4 minutes.

Produced by Tracy Oppenheimer. Camera by Paul Detrick and Oppenheimer.

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  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    BushPigs! ChristFags!

  • The Late P Brooks||


  • The Late P Brooks||

    "Billions of dollars are leaving California as they raise marginal income taxes, in favor of coming to Nevada," says Brown. "Nevada is one of nine states with zero income tax."

    Are we sure they're not just coming for the natural beauty?

  • ||

    You spelled "hookers" wrong.

  • BakedPenguin||

    It's a euphemism.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Speaking of your tax dollars and the people who want them:

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vowed yesterday to rebuild two resort towns ravaged by a boardwalk fire just months after they were restored in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, while state officials put out a call for federal aid.

    Tell me again why federal money is involved in local "disasters".

  • From the Tundra||

    Who else? FDR.

    From the FEMA website:

    By the 1930s, when the federal approach to problems became popular, the Reconstruction Finance Corporation was given authority to make disaster loans for repair and reconstruction of certain public facilities following an earthquake, and later, other types of disasters. In 1934, the Bureau of Public Roads was given authority to provide funding for highways and bridges damaged by natural disasters.

    So how did they fix ROADZ before 1934?

  • Sevo||

    "Billions of dollars are leaving California as they raise marginal income taxes, in favor of coming to Nevada," says Brown. "Nevada is one of nine states with zero income tax."

    Can't remember the source, but CA is actually very fortunate.
    The real tax migrations occur between places with cities on the borders.
    Moving from LA or SF to Reno isn't as easy as from say Cinti to Covington.
    If it were, moonbeam would be shitting bricks.

  • Irish||

    Yeah, but what no one takes into account are the people who will choose not to COME because of the taxes. They always talk about people leaving, but what you'll see is over generations less and less money will be coming to California from outside.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Meanwhile, in the Wasteland:

    Also on Friday, U.S. Rep. Gary Peters, a Bloomfield Township Democrat, sent a letter to President Barack Obama calling on him to appoint an interagency task force for Detroit that would not only help maximize and target federal and private investments in the city, but ensure that the money is well spent with means of measuring returns.

    “(No) one in Detroit is asking for a bailout, and a bailout is not what Detroit needs to prosper and grow,” wrote Peters. “As the city competes against those across the country for federal investments, we have a vested interest in ensuring that every dollar is invested efficiently.”

    Don't call it a bailout, just send us the money.

  • Nazdrakke||

    federal investments

    These words.. I don't think that they belong next each other..

  • SweatingGin||

    "Competing" is a funny term there, too.

    An interesting marketplace for federal handouts to cities. Who has the best tearjerker story? Oh, your boardwalk was washed away in a storm? Money. Now it burned down? Money.

  • Dweebston||

    Boondoggle is the term he wanted. That, or rathole.

  • General Butt Naked||

  • Sevo||

    ..."ensure that the money is well spent"...

    A real laugh riot!

  • DJF||

    Unfortunately a significant number of people who vote with their feet seem to keep on voting for the same kind of politicians in their new state that drove them out of their old state.

  • Blinded by the Derp||


  • Blinded by the Derp||

    This happens in my home state of NC, especially in the cities. All the New Englanders keep choosing the D in elections, and locals keep choosing the D because that's what they've been doing for generations. The results are at times frustrating. Thankfully, the infestation hasn't turned NC into a CO or NV or OR.

    With the Tea Party stuff the locals seem to have stopped their voting for Democratic candidates just because their ancestors did. I don't live there anymore, but I know the Stupid Party is in control. They cut taxes drastically. The question that remains will they cut the budget, or leave it be and be Stupid.

  • General Butt Naked||

    I've heard of this happening in NE PA. People move from Jersey and NY because of taxes, onerous business regs, and great society death ghettos and proceed to vote for NY and NJ style politicians.

  • Nazdrakke||

    Needz moar pollz.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Exactly. Until Reason-Rupe tells me how my fellow Americans feel about this issue I will stay on the fence.

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    What's wrong with the modern world? Jonathan Franzen

  • BakedPenguin||

    So densely layered. So content free.

  • Rhywun||

    Wayyyy TL;DR.

  • JJ Thompson||

    "Billions of dollars are leaving California as they raise marginal income taxes, in favor of coming to Nevada," says Brown. "Nevada is one of nine states with zero income tax."

    Interesting theory. I have a different theory. If you look at the out migration rate, you find that the rate of increase has not risen since the taxes where raised.

  • JWatts||

    If you look at the out migration rate, you find that the rate of increase has not risen since the taxes where raised.

    Since this kind of data takes years to collect, I doubt anyone can possibly tell, if there's been a statistically significant increase in out migration or not. Most of the data I've seen is based on census data.

    Here's a census chart:

  • AdamJ||

    All these Californians are coming to Austin. Hopefully they don't also start taking over Houston and Dallas, then they will start demanding prog policies in statewide elections instead of just here.

  • AdamJ||

    Policy debate: which would you rather have, state revenue from income tax or property tax? I realize that if we got an income tax in TX, it would likely be in addition to a property tax and not in lieu of, but if I had to pick one or the other an income tax is at least more reflective of ability to pay. People on fixed income should not have to pay rent to live in a house they own. And it sucks for people who's neighborhood gets gentrified. Thoughts?

  • JWatts||

    Income taxes suck.

    A sales tax is better. It captures money from the gray and black economies far better than an income tax and isn't nearly as prone to special interest groups adding in their pet deductions. Furthermore, when you pay a sales tax you aren't asked to detail your past years history to the government.

  • AdamJ||

    Choice was between income and property tax. Sales tax is better, but faces too many arguments that it hurts poor people the most.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Income tax.

    Property tax is the most evil of all taxes.

  • 21044||

    My youngest son just moved from Maryland to Texas a few weeks ago. He will never return. My older son and his wife are likely to follow. If I were not closing in on 60, I'd be headed to Texas too. Don;t worry Texans, neither of my sons will be voting for progs.

  • royalphoenix||

    1,386 sqft masonery single family home on a 7,700sqft lot in Peoria, Az. , a northwest suburb of Phx. Built in 1979, all underground utilitys, and a golf course and swimming pool across the street. This years property tax = $598. This is also what's making illegal immigration, legal. All these states, NY, NJ, OH, MI, ILL, MO, PA, have lost a lot of seats in the US house since 1970. peace

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