The IRS has issued its latest data on the migration of tax returns. The bureaucracy tracks how taxpayers’ filing addresses change from one year to the next, and the figures are used by demographers to gauge where Americans are moving. (The number of exemptions declared “is closely correlated with the movement of individual persons.”)
Focusing solely on domestic migration, between 2015 and 2016, New Mexico lost a net 7,922 exemptions. It was the fifth year in a row that the Land of Enchantment experienced an overall decline.
People generally move to states nearby, and that was the case for New Mexicans. Arizona grabbed the most ex-residents, followed by Colorado and Texas. (Neighbor states are in red in chart below.) But Washington, Florida, and North Carolina were among the top ten lures, so proximity isn’t always preferred.
Between 2015 and 2016, New Mexico lost a net $188 million in adjusted gross income. That’s a significant chunk of tax revenue that had to be made up by … well, look in the mirror.
Fabulous weather, fascinating culture/history, and relatively low costs. Why isn’t New Mexico an economic-growth star? Maybe public policy in the state is deeply flawed?