Skip to main content


California proposes doubling taxes as Latinos flee to low-tax, GOP states

This pattern of reverse or outmigration has been felt especially hard by immigrant communities in California

January 18, 2022 5:19pm

Updated: January 19, 2022 6:14pm

A new analysis from the Washington, D.C.-based Tax Foundation found that a recently proposed constitutional amendment by California lawmakers could increase taxes by roughly $12,250 per household nearly doubling the state’s current rates.

According to the report, the proposal includes three main revenue raisers higher income taxes on wealthy Americans, a payroll tax for large companies and a new gross receipts tax in order to raise an additional $163 billion per year so as to establish a single-payer health care system.

In real terms, this means that the top marginal rate on wage income would rise to 18.05 percent more than 3 times the median national top marginal rate of 5.3 percent.

But while the California Legislative Analyst’s Office has projected a $31 billion surplus in the 2022-23 fiscal year, the Tax Foundation’s Jared Walczak warns that “California faces a downside risk in the form of a continuing exodus of taxpayers, accelerated by the rise of remote work and increased workplace mobility.”

“California lost 0.8 percent of its population between April 2020 and July 2021, the fourth-largest decline in the country after the District of Columbia, New York, and Illinois,” he added.

This appears to mirror a previous Tax Foundation report where Walczak found that, “The picture painted by this population shift is a clear one of people leaving high-tax, high-cost states for lower-tax, lower-cost alternatives.”

Latinos who now appear to be evenly split between the Democratic and Republican parties also appear to favor low-tax, Republican states.

This is especially of note as the U.S. Latino population has grown significantly in the last decade and has accounted for 51 percent of the entire U.S. population growth between 2010 and 2020.

According to the Pew Research Center, although all 50 states and Washington, D.C. have seen growth in their Latino populations in the last decade, the four states that have experienced the lowest growth are Democrat-led California, New York, Illinois and New Mexico.

Meanwhile, Republican-led states like Texas, Florida, North Dakota and South Dakota saw the fastest growth in their Latino populations.

This pattern of reverse or outmigration has been felt especially hard by immigrant communities in California and many Latinos have decided to return to their home countries or move to other U.S. states, according to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by UC Merced’s Community and Labor Center.

During the first five months of the pandemic alone, California’s immigrant population of 10.3 million fell by about 642,000, or 6.2 percent, the analysis found. 

As the data shows, that figure tops the combined decrease in the nation’s other states, which saw immigrant populations fall by 531,000, or 1.5 percent during the same period.

This appears to be in line with a recent Public Policy Institute of California study which showed that although California’s population boomed from fewer than 2 million people to 34 million people between 1900 and 2000, its population grew at a slower rate than the rest of the country between 2010 and 2020 before grinding to a halt in the past year.

And while this exodus from the Golden State could perhaps be explained by the fact that industries that rely on immigrant labor have been among the slowest to rebound from the virus shutdowns, the fact is survey after survey has shown that Latinos are increasingly willing to vote for politicians who favor policies which boost economic growth.

Furthermore, there is reason to believe that Latinos who account for around one in eight eligible voters are growing weary of the Democratic Party’s progressive platform, which is often reminiscent of the socialist policies that many Latino families attempted to leave behind when they immigrated to the United States.  

While this was once nothing more than a point of conjecture, new research released in December by the Democratic research firm Equis found that more than 40 percent of Latinos feel concerned that Democrats are embracing socialist policies.

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio a long time champion of free-markets and individual freedom recently told ADN America that he believes Latinos are no longer responding favorably to the left’s radical platform and that the GOP ultimately offers a better solution for hard-working Latino families.

“We are seeing a change in our politics. Some of that is a reaction to the radical policies of President Biden and the Marxists that control his party,” Sen. Rubio noted. “But it is also because Republicans are fighting for things that just make sense for working families: safer communities, more involvement from parents in their kids’ education, bringing good jobs back to America, defending people of faith. These are the things that matter to normal people.”