Mr. Tsitrian directs our attention to the latest refutation of the South Dakota GOP's fantasy that their low-tax policies attract residents and businesses. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities grinds through all sorts of data to tell us South Dakota's lack of an income tax and other purportedly pro-business tax policies won't reliably boost our economy through migration:

  • Interstate migration has declined over the last three decades, from a peak of 3.2% of Americans moving across state lines in 1990 to just 1.5% moving interstate in 2013.
  • Among that small fraction of Americans changing states, jobs, family, and weather swamp tax policy in driving migration.
  • From 1993 to 2011, South Dakota experienced net out-migration of 2.5%, about 5,000 households.
  • The average gross income of folks moving out of South Dakota was about $5,000 less than folks who moved in and $12,000 less than folks who stayed. The average income of the movers out is just about the same as the average wage for South Dakota teachers. Hmmm...

Whatever is making people move to South Dakota, it's probably not tax policy.