High Taxes Causing an Exodus from New Jersey and California 

By Lee Enochs 

There is a migration problem in this country and I am not talking about the current debate over illegal immigration that is pitting President Trump against Nancy Pelosi and the increasingly progressive, Democrats who recently took control of the House of Representatives.

No, the “migration problem” I am referring to pertains to the mass exodus of people who are leaving high taxation states such as New Jersey and California for states with less of a tax burden such as Delaware and Texas.

Recently, I completed my master’s degree in Princeton, New Jersey and returned back to my home state of California and have the unique vantage point of have lived and worked in both states. 

I have a first- hand perspective of the crushing taxes of both coastal states. I have also made friends with average people from New Jersey and California who can’t afford to live in their respective states due to the staggeringly high tax rates and have bailed for greener pastures for tax relief.

College graduates and other millennial age young adults especially seem to realize that they can’t make it in New Jersey and California and are bailing on both the Garden State and Golden State en masse. 

Recent statistics show that only 45% of New Jersey high school students attend college in their respective state and according to a story in Philly.com last July. New Jersey is one of the leading exporters of college students to Pennsylvania due to things like high costs and high taxes.

Property taxes are key factors in this mass exodus of people leaving New Jersey and California. Non-partisan statistics conclusively demonstrate that New Jersey has the highest median property tax  in the United States and California is not far behind.

Part of the problem is the entitlement programs in both these states. Liberal politicians in both New Jersey and California are taxing the snot out of average tax payers to pay for various entitlements to formerly non-citizens. As former Congressman and Presidential candidate Ron Paul has said, “open borders are not possible in a welfare state.”

It’s especially illuminating that both Governor Murphy of New Jersey and Governor Gavin Newsom of California have recently promised “free college tuition” to non-citizen immigrants.

The expense and tax burden  of these progressive entitlement schemes are squeezing the average tax payer in California and New Jersey and many people have had enough and are leaving their states to flee from hyper-taxation that is crushing the middle class.


Lee Enochs is a recent graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary. He has also pursued PhD studies in political philosophy at Princeton University. Lee now resides in Southern California.