Americans are making the move to states which offer more favorable taxation, better job opportunities and an all around lower cost of living. This makes sense in a time when the economy is struggling to recover from a deep recession and everyone is trying to save money. The effects of this trend do not stop at saving money. The potential for long term changes in the composition of future Congresses is at stake.
As reported in a November 16, 2010 news release from the Americans for Tax Reform, “A study by Americans for Tax Reform compared states gaining and losing Congressional seats in the decennial reapportionment process and found that states gaining seats had significantly lower taxes, less government spending, and were more likely to have “Right to Work” laws in place. Because reapportionment is based on population migration, this is further proof that fiscally conservative public policy spurs economic growth, creates jobs, and attracts population growth.”
Government officials in states that are losing residents to neighboring locations which have lower state taxes should carefully consider how this migration of population will affect government actions in the future. According to ATR, there are eight states that will gain at minimum one additional Congressional seat as a result of changing population figures. The following are the states projected to gain at least one Congressional seat.
- Arizona- projected gain of 1 seat
- Florida- projected gain of 2 seats
- Georgia- projected gain of 1 seat
- Nevada- projected gain of 1 seat
- South Carolina- projected gain of 1 seat
- Texas- projected gain of 4 seats
- Utah- projected gain of 1 seat
- Washington- projected gain of 1 seat
On the other side of the equation are the following states which are projected to lose congressional seats.
- Illinois- projected loss of 1 seat
- Iowa- projected loss of 1 seat
- Massachusetts- projected loss of 1 seat
- Michigan- projected loss of 1 seat
- Missouri- projected loss of 1 seat
- New Jersey- projected loss of 1 seat
- New York- projected loss of 2 seats
- Ohio- projected loss of 2 seats
- Pennsylvania- projected loss of 1 seat
It appears the message is clear; Americans are voting with their feet. By moving from the states with high local and state tax burdens to locations with tax burdens that are nearly a third lower- government officials should be taking note. Higher taxes and higher government spending are two areas of which American taxpayers have had their fill. Another consideration according to the ATR; “in eight of ten losers, workers can be forced to join a union as a condition of employment. In 7 of the 8 gainers, workers are given a choice whether to join or contribute financially to a union.”
It would be wise for elected officials to pay attention to this trend and consider how they can rectify some of the issues causing some states to lose an important section of their population.