South Carolina Lawmaker Proposes “Yankee Tax” on People Fleeing the North
A South Carolina state senator is proposing a new “Yankee Tax” requiring new residents from other states to pay $500 in fees. The proposal was made in response to the ongoing mass exodus from states like New York and California to red states due to high crime and increased cost of living. If passed by a state referendum, new movers would be expected to pay $250 each for a new driver’s license and vehicle registration.
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“I’m not trying to build a wall, and this is not a fee against new residents, it’s a fee for people to catch up with the rest of us,” Sen. Stephen Goldfinch told Fox News Digital. According to Goldfinch, the money raised from his proposal would go towards paying for state infrastructure.
“I think there’s a rational basis for requiring newcomers to catch up with the rest of us and contribute to the roads, bridges, schools and green spaces that we’ve [residents] always contributed to.”
According to the U.S. Census, almost 500,000 Americans have fled to South Carolina over the past decade, with the largest increases occurring during the nationwide COVID lockdowns.
But while Goldfinch hopes to raise some revenue from the new movers, states like New York and California are hoping to squeeze fleeing residents for every cent they have. According to Fox Business, both states are discussing proposals that would tax residents for trying to leave the state.
Still, Goldfinch remains optimistic.
“I find it hard to believe that $250 is going to dissuade anybody from coming… If you can charge people to leave, I don’t see any reason why you can’t charge somebody to come in the door.”
South Carolina is not the only red state that has seen a massive influx of new residents in recent years. Florida has also seen a massive population boost, tallying 400,000 new residents in the latest census report. According to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles, roughly 65,000 of them are from New York, the fastest declining state in the union.
The exodus from blue America to red America has not been without pushback. Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene even proposed that Democrats moving to red states should not be able to vote until they have been residents for 5 years.
“I think red states could choose in how they allow people to vote in their states,” Greene suggested on the Charlie Kirk show earlier this month.
While there have not been any proposals in the Sunshine State as strong as Greene’s suggestion, a tax similar to the one proposed by Goldfinch was, in fact, on the state’s books during the 1990s. The law imposed a $295 fee on new residents for registering their vehicle, but was struck down in 1994 by the Florida Supreme Court for violating the Commerce Clause of the Constition. No similar Florida law exists today.
Some Florida jokesters have been meme-ing other requirements they would like to see, which are unlikely to happen.
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Goldfinch’s “Yankee Tax” will be debated on the South Carolina Senate floor next week. If it is passed, the state’s counties will hold a referendum during the 2024 general election to decide whether to implement it.
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