Study: Nebraska Losing Taxpayers in Domestic Migration
By Fred Knapp , Reporter/Producer Nebraska Public Media
June 23, 2022, 2 p.m. ·
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A new report says Nebraska is losing taxpayers to other states.
The report from the Platte Institute says Nebraska has lost more than 70,000 taxpayers and their dependents because they’ve moved to other states in the last 20 years. The report focuses on domestic migration, and does not look at increases in population due to immigration or natural increase due to more births than deaths. Overall, Nebraska’s population incrased from about 1.7 million to 1.9 million during the same period. But considering how many people move to other states, the report says Nebraska should consider how tax policy may be contributing to that trend. The report’s author, Michael Lucci of the Platte Institute, said that’s one factor among several influencing people’s decisions on where to live.
“One of the factors they will choose based on is obviously climate’s something, cost of living’s something, but what is your cost/benefit analysis for your government? Your cost is taxes. Your benefit is how well the government runs the state and the local community – so institutions, quality of education – all of those factors are the benefit side of taxes. So the more competitively that you can tax and then provide benefits, the more attractive you’re going to be for people to relocate, because we do have a lot of remote workers now,” he said.
That includes Lucci, who works for Platte remotely from Texas, which has no state income tax but where he says housing is very expensive. And he says one advantage Nebraska should consider emphasizing is that housing is relatively less expensive here.
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