Turns out, people flock to states with low taxes.
In 2009, facing a revenue drop-off from the previous year’s recession, states raised taxes collectively by $29 billion — at the time, the largest annual hike in history. Many of the biggest increases occurred in Democratic-leaning states, including New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, which targeted businesses and upper-income residents especially, even as newly inaugurated President Barack Obama touted a similar agenda in Washington.
What seemed like a new taxing trend dissipated, however, after the 2010 midterms, when Republicans captured seven governorships and full control of 23 state governments, up from just 10 before Obama’s election. The newly elected governments quickly began cutting taxes and reducing business regulations, setting off an intense, often acerbic, state competition to attract wealthier residents and employers. This battle transformed the American economic map, right up to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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