Policy Brief — Wealthy Mainers have deep roots: Why taxes don’t spur interstate moves


Mainers want to live in thriving communities with good schools, affordable housing, safe roads, reliable public services and good jobs. Shoring up public investments that make communities attractive and livable for all individuals and families must be a key priority for policymakers.

Unfortunately, our ability to secure the needed resources to invest in Maine families and communities remains under threat because of the persistent argument that cutting taxes is necessary to keep wealthier households from leaving the state.

However, research reveals that among the very small number of annual interstate movers, the wealthy are less likely to uproot their homes and families than low-income people. Because of their deep roots, decisions about tax policy should be made with the understanding that wealthy Mainers are a stable, reliable tax base.

Among other findings, this policy brief reveals:

  • Americans are deeply rooted in their communities, particularly wealthy Americans. Just 1.7 percent of Americans moved across state lines in 2017. Of those who did cross state lines, the overwhelming majority cite jobs, family, or housing as their reason for moving.
  • Maine, a state with an income tax, is gaining residents from New Hampshire, a state with no income tax.
  • More New Hampshirites are moving to Florida, another state without an income tax, than Mainers. If taxes were a primary concern
    when deciding where to move, we’d expect to see more Mainers than New Hampshirites moving to Florida.

To read the full report, or download a PDF, click here.