Vagabond shoes, longing to stray, cost states billions in lost taxpayer income


Americans are rolling stones. In a typical year, some 38 million people change residences within the domestic United States. While moving can be a thrill for those folks heading to new opportunities, it's a real downer for the counties and states that lose taxpayer income when more people leave than arrive.

The biggest loser, New York State, saw nearly nearly $54 billion in adjusted gross income disappear as a result of taxpayer migration between 1995 and 2006, according to a new study from the Center of Applied Economics at the University of Kansas School of Business. "As a practical matter, that's money that left the state and went to another state," says the study's lead author, Arthur Hall, executive director of the Center for Applied Economics. "That is what happens as it relates to migrations. Whether people are getting richer, and richer and that replaces that lost income, we don't know that."