Welcome to Florida. Prepare to evacuate.
The Category 2 Hurricane Dorian parked itself over the Bahamas off the Florida coast Monday night about 100 miles east of West Palm Beach. Forecasters said the mammoth storm might just craze the eastern Florida coast.
But nonetheless mandatory evacuations were underway in eight counties, including nearly 100 senior citizen installations, and voluntary departures urged in another half dozen counties. Residents in Georgia and South Carolina were preparing to be hit by winds in the 135 mile an hour range.
It’s an unusual contradictory wrinkle compounded by weather coming days after news that Florida is now the most popular destination for Americans moving within the United States.
The Census Bureau reports that in the last year more than 566,000 new residents have moved into Florida, primarily from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Guess what those states have in common that Florida doesn’t: High taxes.
Some Florida counties and real estate offices are even advertising in the Northeast to lure new customers to their areas. The Tampa, Palm Beach and Orlando areas are especially popular.
Last year more than a half-million other immigrants (525,000) moved into the No. 2 state, Texas.
Of course, Florida has an absence of snow and bitter winters. But a primary motivation for this new economic migration is the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which President Trump signed in late 2017.
Among other provisions, that legislation capped federal deductions for state and local taxes at $10,000.
Largely Democratic governments in the Northeast are more than happy to skim more than that much from personal incomes each year. Illinois, which is now back in Democrats’ hands, is also a state experiencing a significant outflow of people.
Oh, look! Texas and Florida have no income taxes, as does Tennessee, which is also advertising itself as tax-friendly, especially to senior citizens on fixed incomes.
Nevada is also free of income taxes and attracting thousands of Californians who like the Western life but not the Golden State’s endless spending and tax increases.
California’s population of some 40 million is still growing because the existing population is having a lot of babies — 460,000 of them last year alone. Also, the newcomers don’t know about its freeway traffic until they arrive and it’s too late.
But Census folks reported last year 38,000 more Californians moved out of the state than moved in.