CA, NY, and Illinois Have Lost Billions in Tax Revenue Since 2020

Dr. Munr Kazmir
4 min readMay 3, 2023

Florida and Texas have found them.

October 2019. (Photo: Igor Krivokon)

The Blue State Exodus Accelerates,” wrote the Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Board on April 28, 2023. “New IRS data for 2021 shows voters fleeing Illinois, among others.”

“Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker shrugged last year after several high-profile corporations left his state,” began the WSJ Editorial Board, quoting one of Gov. Pritzker’s lines on the subject: “Countless companies are choosing Illinois as their home.”

“Then why does a new Internal Revenue Service report show an accelerating taxpayer exodus from Illinois and other high-tax states?” the WSJ Editorial Board countered

“The IRS data shows a net 105,000 people left Illinois in 2021, taking with them some $10.9 billion in AGI,” noted the Wall Street Journal. “That’s up from $8.5 billion in 2020 and $6 billion in 2019. New York’s income loss increased to $24.5 billion in 2021, more than triple what it did in 2019.”

“By contrast, the lowest tax states added some $100 billion of income during the pandemic,” the WSJ continued. “Zero-income-tax Florida gained $39.2 billion — up from $23.7 billion in 2020 and $17.7 billion in 2019. About $9.8 billion of the total arrived from New York, $3.9 billion from Illinois, $3.7 billion from New Jersey and $3.5 billion from California.”

“Texas was another winner, attracting a net $10.9 billion in 2021, which follows a net gain of $6.3 billion in 2020 and $4 billion in 2019.”

“Illinois lost income to all of its neighboring states,” notes the WSJ, “but the biggest beneficiaries of its taxpayer flight were Florida, Texas, Indiana and Wisconsin.”

The situation was epitomized in April as two progressives, Mayor Eric Adams and former New York Times writer Bari Weiss, sat down to openly discuss the demise of San Francisco. The same thing is happening in Portland and Chicago.

One of the key reasons is crime. Sure, taxes are high in places like New York and California; the cost of living is also high. But taxes and the cost of living have always been high in those places. The crime surge — which began to seriously accelerate in 2020 — is new.

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