Blah, blah, blah. This came across the Twitterz:
Former D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams is urging members of the business community to write @councilofdc in opposition to proposed tax increases on high earners.
"Highly skilled workers are more mobile than ever. [Don't] give them a reason to leave our city," email says.
— Ally Schweitzer #WeMakeWAMU (@allyschweitzer) July 19, 2021
Yes, if wealthy people see their marginal income tax rate increase by a few percentage points, Sheridan-Kalorama, Foxhall, and Dupont Circle will become boarded-up wastelands where nobody lives anymore.
If you read that sentence aloud, you’ll realize how absurd that proposition is.
One of the few upsides–perhaps the only upside–of not having enough urban housing (at least, that’s what Madam Market Signal seems to be telling us)–is that there won’t be a shortage of people, even well-heeled people, who want to live in cities.
What might happen is housing and rental prices (and perhaps business rents too) would decline in real terms. This is a good thing! Yes, the property tax base might decrease, but people also would be spending less of their incomes on housing. And frankly, I don’t think that’s going to happen–wealthy people will move in regardless.
People left D.C. in the 1970s and 1980s not because of higher taxes, but because of concerns over schools and crime. Dealing with those problems costs money.