As residents flee high taxes and strict COVID-19 limitations, one state is swiftly becoming the most-hated state in the nation: New Jersey. According to data from United Van Lines and Bloomberg, New Jersey residents are fleeing the state in droves. 7 of every 10 moves initiated in New Jersey have been to depart the state, often for Vermont, Idaho, Oregon, or South Carolina.
Analysts blame New Jersey’s aggressive tax policies, which have resulted in 250 percent gas-tax hikes since 2016, taxes on millionaire residents intended to help the state bail out its underwater pension funds, and fees associated with high-frequency trading (HFT). The result has been that many of the state’s high-profile, wealthy residents have already departed, but it not just the wealthy are fleeing at this point. The middle class is leaving as well.
If you think COVID-19 is the sole culprit in this trend, think again. Before the pandemic, United Van Lines data indicated 68.5 percent of moves in New Jersey were already out-of-state moves. New Jersey was the top “outbound state” in 2019 as well. However, “stifling COVID-linked mandates” are now also playing a role.
However, New Jersey residents are not the only ones enjoying the freedom to move elsewhere as remote work options expand. Gregory Daco, Oxford Economics chief economist, recently observed that increased mobility across state lines is a growing trend. “We have seen increased mobility across the states – driven by fear of living in densely populated areas, a realization that the ‘old normal’ of commuting into a city office is still but a distant possibility, and the realization that remote work can be an effective, long-term option,” he said.
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