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ThinkTech Hawaii: When Raising Taxes Doesn’t Raise Money (Talking Tax)

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Is Hawaii at or near that Point.

The host for this show is Jay Fidell. The guest is Tom Yamachika.

One fundamental assumption that has been made over the years by our lawmakers is that if you enact a tax, money will be raised. What if that weren’t true?

In late 2019, a pair of economists, Enrico Moretti and Daniel Wilson, published a paper titled “Taxing Billionaires: Estate Taxes and the Geographical Location of the Ultra-Wealthy.” In that paper, they followed the movement of 400 of the nation’s richest people (the “Forbes 400”) and came up with a mathematical model to predict the chances that a particular rich person would move out of state in response to either an enactment of or a hike in that state’s estate tax. If the person moved out, that person’s contribution to the state’s income and sales taxes would significantly drop, or dry up entirely. They predicted that Hawaii would LOSE money if it raised its estate tax.

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