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A new study by big Switzerland-based bank UBS and Wealth-X debunks theories that the superrich are leaving the high-tax states.

Over the past year, California was the biggest gainer of people worth $30 million or more. The state has the highest tax rate — 13.3 percent for those making $1 million or more.

New York City, which has a combined city and state tax of more than 12 percent, was in first place among metro areas for adding those with net worth of $30 million or more.

Of course, California is the biggest state and New York the biggest metro area. And California has Silicon Valley and New York has Wall Street. Still, on a population-adjusted basis, Massachusetts — contemptuously called Taxachusetts — had the biggest gain, despite a relatively high income-tax rate.

This is not to say that low-tax states and cities don't gain multimillionaires. Of the top ten gainers, Texas and Florida, with no income taxes, are second and third, respectively.

The study concludes that all things considered, a state's tax rate doesn't correlate to net gain or loss of multimillionaires. According to a CNBC account of the study, this conclusion conflicts sharply with opinions offered by writers such as Travis Brown, author of How Money Walks, who claims the fat cats are leaving the high-tax states rapidly.

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Comments

Founder Nov. 28, 2013 @ 12:37 p.m.

The rich need to live near others that have money since they want to be insulated from the poor, least the poor get jealous and become rowdy or worse! The middle class used to provide that buffer but now, as we all know, the middle class is rapidly shrinking as the ultra wealthy re-acquire the majority of wealth in the USA. The top 1% now have more than half of all the people living in the USA, something that has never before happened.

Great example of the NEW America:

The Walton family has a fortune estimated to be over $144.7 billion.

FACT: Most Walmart workers make less than $25K/yr.

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Don Bauder Nov. 28, 2013 @ 1:25 p.m.

Founder. Another important point is that Walmart's low-pay policy costs taxpayers billions. Walmart teaches its employees how to maximize use of government welfare programs. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard Nov. 28, 2013 @ 1:04 p.m.

If low income taxes really attracted wealthy people. they would all leave for Mexico where there is no income tax.

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Don Bauder Nov. 28, 2013 @ 1:28 p.m.

Psycholizard. Of course, the super rich stash assets in offshore tax and secrecy havens. Best Don Bauder

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Dennis Nov. 28, 2013 @ 1:30 p.m.

It's hard to say where many of the well to do actually live for tax purposes, they maintain multiple residences across the country. Mitt Romney claimed to be living in his son's basement in Massachusetts in 2010 for voter registration, while he was running for president. This despite his purchase in 2009 of a house in La Jolla.

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Don Bauder Nov. 28, 2013 @ 1:37 p.m.

Dennis. True. The superrich have all kinds of methods to avoid and evade taxes. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh Nov. 28, 2013 @ 7:54 p.m.

Actually, the superrich can afford to pay the taxes without any effect on the lifestyle they want to enjoy. When I've pointed out that high income folks are leaving, I wasn't talking about this small group. I've seen and heard enough to know that high income, middle class folks were leaving. And that is because some of them are finding themselves in tax brackets that once were aimed at plutocrats. Now they are hitting well-heeled retirees who can pay for a second home in another state with the taxes they no longer pay to California.

Then, of course, there are the many and varied ways that superrich can tuck income and investments into tax havens (the legal sort that exist due to tax treaties) and other bits of subterfuge. So, if you are in that sort of wealth and income bracket, and you want to live in this state, you can make a rational decision if it is worth it to you to pay state income tax here for the privilege of living in California. There isn't anything quite like Carmel, or Del Mar, or Pacific Grove or parts of Marin County in some other state. Texas for all its size cannot provide that sort of ambiance within its borders. Superrich are not like us, and they will spend their money, scads of it, to have the life they seek, and may not concern themselves with local taxes that go along with that life they want.

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Don Bauder Nov. 28, 2013 @ 9:33 p.m.

Visduh. Good points. The superrich crave a great lifestyle. Hard to attain in Houston. Best, Don Bauder

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