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New York losing more taxpayers to outmigration

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(The Center Square) — New York saw its population shrink again last year, with hundreds of thousands of residents fleeing to Florida, Texas and other low-tax states.

New York’s population decreased by 101,984 residents — the largest decline of any state — during the 12-month period that ended last July 1, according to newly released U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

The decline was driven by a net outmigration of 216,778 New Yorkers who moved out of the Empire State to other states during the 12-month period, the census data shows.

Despite that, New York’s outmigration appears to be slowing, with about 81,000 fewer residents leaving the state in 2023 than in 2022, a 27% drop, according to the data.

While net domestic migration was down from New York’s near-record losses during the first two years following the spring 2020 COVID-19 outbreak, the Empire Center noted that the state is still well above average annual migration outflow in any decade since the 1970s.

Since 2020, the Census Bureau estimates, New York has lost 884,000 residents to other states,” the center said in a blog post. “As a percentage of its 2022 population, New York’s net domestic migration loss of 1.1 percent last year was larger than any state’s; in absolute terms, it was exceeded only by California’s net outflow of 338,371 people.”

Other top states that saw population declines in 2023 included California, Illinois and Pennsylvania, according to the census data.

New Jersey’s outmigration in 2023 was offset by an increase in new residents that bumped up the state’s population by about 30,000 residents in 2023, according to the data.

New Jersey lost 44,666 residents to domestic migration to other states but gained nearly 50,000 new residents from international migration into the state, the data shows.

Texas saw the largest population increase in 2023, a 473,453 resident net gain, the data shows. That was followed by Florida, which saw a net gain of 365,205 residents.

Overall, the U.S. population grew by more than 1.6 million during the 12-month period, according to the figures.

In New York, the declines continue a trend that critics attribute to the state’s high cost of living, a pressing housing shortage and other issues that are prompting New Yorkers to flee to other states.

Federal data shows that the population decline has major implications for the states, revenue, and tax collections.

New York lost an eye-popping $24.5 billion in state-adjusted gross income in 2021 as residents fled to New Jersey, Florida and other low-tax states, according to the latest Internal Revenue Service figures.

Based on income tax returns filed in 2020 and 2021, IRS data shows the Empire State lost more than 261,785 residents in a 12-month span ending July 2022, driven by “domestic outmigration” of people moving to other states. The data shows the state lost an estimated $45 billion in taxable income during those two years.

Overall, New York lost the ability to tax a cumulative $1.1 trillion in adjusted gross income due to net outmigration from 2000 to 2020, according to Wirepoints, an independent research firm. In 2020 alone, the state would have collected nearly $144 billion in AGI to tax had it not been for the yearly migration losses.

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