Studies Buck Claim of Millionaire Tax-Flight

New York Governor David Paterson says a tax hike on the state's wealthiest households is a bad idea. But backers of such a levy point to studies in New Jersey to make their case in pushing for the tax in New York. WNYC's Bob Hennelly has more.

REPORTER: New Yorkers who oppose a so-called "millionaires tax" to help close the state's multi-billion dollar budget gap say it'll hurt the economy, and cause the wealthy to flee. But proponents say that independent studies done after New Jersey enacted a "half-millionaire" tax showed the number of well-off households actually increased.

This fall, the study out of Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School entitled "Trends in N.J. Migration" documented, that while New Jersey was losing residents, it was primarily those of low and moderate income, trying to escape ever-escalating property taxes and cost of living.

Another analysis, done by Phoenix Marketing, a leading market research firm, concluded that in 2007 New Jersey had 228,000 millionaires, and that's 40,000 more than when the state passed the wealth levy in 2004. For WNYC, I am Bob Hennelly.