Striking Correlations Between Income Taxes and Congressional Reapportionment
Only seven states levy absolutely no income tax. According to the U.S. Census data released today, only eight states will see increased congressional representation, which means they have been growing faster than the national average. Four states (Texas, Florida, Washington, and Nevada) are included in both of those lists.
The other three states — as well as New Hampshire and Tennessee, which tax only interest and dividend income — all stayed at the same number of seats. That means their growth was average, or near average.
All 10 states that lost representation have a state income tax.
According to the Tax Foundation, the eight states gaining seats in congress have an average total tax burden — including taxes on income, sales, and property — ranking of 28.3, on a scale where 1 is the state with the highest tax burden and 50 has the lowest. The 10 states losing seats have an average ranking of 20. If you remove Louisiana from the equation, because of its low tax burden and the fact that that state lost a number of residents after Hurricane Katrina, the remaining nine states have a more striking ranking of 16.7.
Another interesting note is that Washington, which gained a seat, has a high total tax burden but no income tax — and only a month ago, that state’s voters soundly defeated a proposal that would have instituted one.
I don’t claim to have demonstrated causation with this brief review of Census data for a blog post. But the noted examples show a striking correlation between lower taxes overall, and especially the lack of income taxation, for population growth. And when populations grow, economies often grow with them.
To read further Show-Me Institute research about to these topics, please visit the taxation section of our main website.