A new study says the wealthy are fleeing New Jersey for lower-tax states like Florida and Pennsylvania. But like many similar studies, it fails to prove a clear cause and effect between the movements of the rich and taxes.
The report, from the New Jersey wealth-management firm RegentAtlantic Capital, has been lighting up the New Jersey media and websites. It says that in 2010 alone, New Jersey lost taxable income of $5.5 billion because residents moved. It ties the wealth flight to the state's "millionaire's tax," which raised taxes on those making $500,000 or more (roughly the top 1 percent of New Jersey taxpayers) starting in 2004.
In a four-year period before the millionaire's tax, the aggregate net worth in the state increased by $98 billion, the report said. After the tax, the net outflow reversed "70 percent of the wealth gained in the prior four years," the report said.