But Angela Kennecke fails to tell us the full story. In the very same Kiplinger article that KELO cites and links, senior editor Mary Beth Franklin offers this caveat:
...But many of the remaining 41 states (and the District of Columbia) that impose an income tax offer generous incentives for retirees. If you qualify, moving to one of these retiree-friendly areas could be cheaper than relocating to a state with no income tax.
Plus, in tough economic times, states without a personal income tax have fewer sources of revenue and are more likely to raise property or sales taxes and other fees to shore up their budgets. State tax revenues plunged nearly 12% during the first three months of 2009, the sharpest decline on record, reports the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government. And it may take states years to make up the shortfall [Mary Beth Franklin, "Tax-Friendly Places to Retire," Kiplinger Personal Finance via Kiplinger.com, October 2009].
Declining state revenues, increasing property taxes and fees... sound like any prairie state you know? Funny that the local media missed that portion of the analysis.
I'm still suspicious of a strategy for recruiting residents and businesses that relies on attracting folks who don't want to pay taxes. Over time, it seems that strategy brings you a population of loners and corporate raiders who are more interested in their personal comfort and wealth and less interested in paying their fair share for even basic public investments like roads and schools.
So your questions for the watercooler today: Does selling one's state as a refuge from taxes promote a culture of narrow selfishness? Does South Dakota's "No Taxes!" tagline drive away more community-minded residents? Discuss....