- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Billions of dollars worth of taxes once destined for government coffers in Virginia, Maryland and the District has instead bankrolled states elsewhere as new statistics highlight migration patterns out of the mid-Atlantic.

In addition to keeping track of how much is owed to Uncle Sam, the Internal Revenue Service also looks at Form 1040 filings from previous years in order to gain an understanding of the state-to-state movements of taxpaying Americans.

The latest data, released by the IRS in raw form last week, indicated a net migration loss for the D.C. region in 2013 and 2014 that was among the worst in the U.S.

Florida saw the biggest net migration gains in those years, according to the data, followed by Texas, South Carolina, Nevada and North Carolina. With regards to adjusted gross income, the Sunshine and Lone Star states, neither of which has any state income tax, saw gains of $10.7 billion and $5 billion, respectively, in residents income.

Virginia and Maryland meanwhile each placed among the 10 states that experienced the greatest loss of its residents’ adjusted gross income during that span.

The capital’s two state neighbors each saw its tax base shrink by more than $1.2 billion apiece as residents moved out of state during that time, falling behind only New York, California, Illinois, New Jersey and Pennsylvania with in terms of biggest net losses, the data revealed. The Empire State lost $5.8 billion, or almost 1 percent of its taxable base.

If taken as its own entity, the District of Columbia itself, Fairfax County in Virginia and Maryland’s Montgomery County incurred a gross adjusted income loss of roughly $1.97 billion, said Frank Howard, a Republican candidate for Congress in Maryland.

“In Maryland we must recognize that we are competing not only with countries like India and China but states like South Carolina and Florida for jobs,” said Mr. Howard, who is seeking to represent the 6th Congressional District, which includes part of Montgomery County.

According to the candidate’s analysis of the data, the 6th Congressional District, currently represented by Democratic Rep. John Delaney, lost nearly $600 million in taxable income between 2013 and 2014, or roughly half of the state’s total loss.

Mr. Delaney’s office did not return multiple requests for comment by Tuesday afternoon.

Between 2013 and 2014, 28,174 former Washingtonians filed tax forms elsewhere in the U.S. or abroad, according to the data. The same number was 85,359 for Maryland, and 299,595 in Virginia.

Nationwide, the latest statistics confirm previous figures in which states with lower taxes have seen an influx of taxpayers.

“This is people voting with their feet,” Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist told The Washington Times on Tuesday, adding that polls have indicated historically that Americans are more willing to accept fewer government services at the cost of lower taxes than the polar opposite.

Now thanks to the latest statistics from the IRS, Mr. Norquist said tax data proves citizens are indeed betting their future on lower taxes and less spending.

“If people were moving to Vermont and into New York and into California and into Illinois, you’d wonder about whether this poll was real. What people do is always more important than what people say,” he said.

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