Fleeing to Colorado

The debate about the proper role of government in our lives seems eternal. It comes up all the time and largely (all kinds of caveats here!) defines the competing philosophies of the major political parties.

From the Chamber perspective, we understand the vital role of government and believe it needs to be appropriately resourced. At the local level, where it’s easier to gauge government’s impact, businesses depend on good police and fire protection, good streets and other services.

Like all things, however, it can go from being an asset to a burden. That point is highlighted in an article from the Mises Institute as reported by the American Institute for Economic Research. The article is titled “Americans are Leaving States with Burdensome Governments.”

The article states that “…Americans are…moving to favorable tax environments.” For example “People from New York, California and Illinois are headed to places such as Colorado and North Carolina. In 2015, Californians made up the largest share of new arrivals to Colorado at 12.8 percent. People from Illinois made up 5 percent of new arrivals in Colorado. Colorado has the 35th-lowest state and local tax burden as a share of personal income.”

The consequences when people feel compelled to flee places with burdensome regulatory policies and taxes? “When people leave high-tax states, it tends to reduce business formation, job creation, and consumption in those states. This means a smaller tax base to support high government spending.”

So, government is essential; too much government can be a burden. It’s a good thing for government leaders at all levels to keep in mind.