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March 29, 2021

GOP House Members Propose Ban on State ‘Exit Taxes’

A group of House Republicans is backing legislation that would prevent states from imposing so-called “exit taxes” on residents who vote with their feet and establish a new, permanent residence in a different state.

The bill arose out of a California legislative proposal that would have imposed a:

…wealth tax on residents, part-year residents, and any person who spends more than 60 days inside the state’s borders in a single year. Even those who move out of state would continue to be subject to the tax for a decade…

Arizona Rep. David Schweikert said his Exit Tax Prevention Act of 2021 would “ensure taxpayers are protected from this unconstitutional tax while allowing the freedom of human ingenuity and choice to continue to thrive…”

According to the National Taxpayers Union, the California proposal isn’t just bad policy, it’s also unconstitutional:

The ten-year exit tax component violates the right to travel and impermissibly burdens interstate commerce: the ten  year period would greatly exceed the currently most excessive “trailing nexus” law (imposing taxes or tax collection obligations on someone after they’ve left), which is Washington with one year for business taxes and four years for sales taxes. California would be taxing well beyond its borders by claiming nexus over wealth not just outside the state, but even outside the country. Furthermore, imposing such a substantial tax burden on taxpayers who have moved to a different state and no longer enjoy any of the state services ostensibly paid for by tax collections violates every principle of tax fairness.

“Fairness” has nothing to do with a government determined to make people pay their fair share.  Or in the case of the California proposal, a collection of unions and trade associations looking to maximize their opportunities to enrich their members.

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