Report: People move for jobs, housing, weather -- but not so much because of taxes

capital region migration outflow heatmap clip

A clip from a "heat map" of where people from the Capital Region moved to (if leaving the area) in recent years, based on an AOA look at Census data earlier this year.

More bits for the ongoing people moving from New York/high taxes discussion: A report out this month from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a think tank, concludes that most people don't leave a state because of high taxes. Instead, they're much more likely to move because of jobs, cheaper housing, or weather.

A clip from the report:

Less than 3 percent of Americans move across state lines in an average year, despite significant and persistent interstate differences in tax levels. Economists and demographers have known for decades that those who do move are primarily seeking more plentiful and higher-paying jobs -- with cheaper housing, a desired physical and cultural environment, and proximity to family and friends being important secondary considerations. There is no evidence that any more than a tiny minority of people making an interstate move are deliberately "voting with their feet" in favor of a state that levies lower taxes.

The report includes a bunch of interesting bits, and focuses in part on New York (which experienced the highest net out-migration of any state between 1993-2011, based on IRS data).

In a different report earlier this year from a different think, the Tax Foundation, New York once again topped the list for the percentage of income that went to state and local taxes. And the popular reasons cited by respondents for wanting to leave New York, according to a Gallup poll also out this spring: cost of living (21 percent), business-related (15 percent), family/friends (16 percent), and taxes (14 percent).

As with any of these sorts of reports or rankings, it's important to know where the think tank is coming from. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities describes itself as a "policy [organization] working at the federal and state levels on fiscal policy and public programs that affect low- and moderate-income families and individuals." (It's probably fair to see it's skeptical of tax cuts for higher-income households.)

Earlier on AOA:
+ If you could move from New York, would you?
+ This just in: New York has high taxes
+ Where people moved to/from when moving from/to the Capital Region


While people may not consciously state they're moving because of higher taxes, when they move "because of jobs, cheaper housing..." they're moving because of higher taxes -- or, at the very least, the effects of higher taxes.

seems that if that's the case, they're really clueless about things. we moved from virginia (hubby's from long island, i'm from vt) and while things are slightly more expensive, my house in Glenville is far CHEAPER as far as the cost of the house than a comparable house in Virginia Beach, for example, which has 'low' taxes compared to up does not necessarily follow the other...


That's just not true. Jobs and cheaper housing result from a variety of factors. If it was the case that lowering taxes creates jobs and cheaper housing why is it that Kentucky, which has very low combined state and local taxes, has one of the nations highest unemployment rates?

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.


Recently on All Over Albany

Thank you!

When we started AOA a decade ago we had no idea what was going to happen. And it turned out better than we could have... (more)

Let's stay in touch

This all feels like the last day of camp or something. And we're going to miss you all so much. But we'd like to stay... (more)

A few things I think about this place

Working on AOA over the past decade has been a life-changing experience for me and it's shaped the way I think about so many things.... (more)

Albany tightened its rules for shoveling snowy sidewalks last winter -- so how'd that work out?

If winter ever gets its act together and drops more snow on us, there will be sidewalks to shovel. And shortly after that, Albany will... (more)

Tea with Jack McEneny

Last week we were fortunate enough to spend a few minutes with Jack McEneny -- former state Assemblyman, unofficial Albany historian, and genuinely nice guy.... (more)

Recent Comments

My three year old son absolutely loving riding the train around Huck Finn's (Hoffman's) Playland this summer.

Thank you!

...has 27 comments, most recently from Ashley

Let's stay in touch

...has 4 comments, most recently from mg

A look inside 2 Judson Street

...has 3 comments, most recently from Diane (Agans) Boyle

Everything changes: Alicia Lea

...has 2 comments, most recently from Chaz Boyark

A few things I think about this place

...has 13 comments, most recently from Katherine