File - David Schweikert

U.S. Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz.

(The Center Square) – Arizona Congressman David Schweikert has introduced the Exit Tax Prevention Act of 2021, a bill that would make it illegal for states to attempt to tax people who move to another state.

Schweikert, a six-term Republican, represents Arizona’s 6th Congressional District, including Scottsdale.

“No American should be subjected to a tax penalty for their decision to move, whether that be a financial, family, lifestyle or other choice,” Schweikert said Tuesday in a statement.

A bill introduced last year in the California General Assembly seeks to impose a 0.4% wealth tax on taxpayers’ worldwide wealth above $30 million, not including real estate. Part-year residents would pay a prorated portion based on the number of days they live in California each year. New residents who meet the criteria would see the tax phased in over 10 years.

The legislation, however, also contains an exit tax that would require people who move out of California to continue paying the tax for 10 years on a decreasing sliding scale.

“The California State Legislature’s proposal sets a dangerous, unconstitutional precedent when it comes to taxing hard-working Americans trying to relocate to a state better suited for their goals and needs,” Schweikert said. “I am proud to introduce the Exit Tax Prevention Act of 2021, which would ensure taxpayers are protected from this unconstitutional tax while allowing the freedom of human ingenuity and choice to continue to thrive across the United States.”

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, called California’s proposal “spiteful” in Schweikert’s press release.

“Taxpayers are fleeing California because they are fed up with high taxes and big government,” Norquist said.

California has been experiencing an exodus for years across all income levels. Over the past decade, some 700,000 Californians have moved to Texas, which does not have an income tax, compared with a top rate of 12.3% in the Golden State.

Moving company U-Haul, which analyzes its data each year, said California ranked as the top state for one-way outbound moves based on its truck rentals. The state’s overall population increased by only 0.5% in 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic over the past year also has contributed to people leaving California. Media reports indicate many moved back to their hometowns after losing their livelihoods, and an increase in remote work made it possible to move to lower tax states, such as neighboring Nevada.