Can Gov. Newsom lure Floridians to California? – Daily News

on Jul7
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To: Gov. Gavin NewsomFrom: Columnist with trusty spreadsheet

Governor, I see you made an Independence Day TV ad attempting to lure Floridians to the Golden State.

“I urge all of you living in Florida to join the fight. Or join us in California, where we still believe in freedom — freedom of speech, freedom to choose, freedom from hate and the freedom to love,” you say in the 30-second spot.

I’ll assume some of this is mere political showmanship. I’ll bet it’s also personal, since Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis isn’t shy about tossing barbs your way.

Yet I’m hoping there’s old-fashioning salesmanship — fishing for relocations — lumped into this message.

I filled my trusty spreadsheet with some taxpayer migration data from the IRS for tax year 2020 — the latest available — to check the odds of a Floridian leaving the Sunshine State for elsewhere in the U.S.

Governor, my handicapping shows Floridians are more eager to bolt than you might think. But despite all of California charms — natural and manmade — it’s been challenging to get folks to move to the Golden State.

Solid target

As a caveat, let’s remember taxpayer stats don’t include those who didn’t file — a flock that’s typically at the lower end of the income spectrum.

And remember that size matters. Florida is a solid target with 16.9 million taxpaying households in 2020, No. 3 in the nation. California’s 32.2 million was No. 1.

In that year, Florida lost 456,993 taxpayers to relocations, the third-largest “exodus” among the states. Don’t forget, California’s 676,058 exits were No. 1.

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