by Collin Reischman
Brown told The Missouri Times that his book, “How Money Walks,” will accompany a smartphone app of the same name. The book compiles data from the IRS detailing how Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) moves based on tax policies on a county-by-county basis all across the country,
“State income tax rates vary pretty wildly, and places like Texas and Florida and, more recently, Kansas, are benefitting from individuals moving themselves and their AGI to places with lower tax liability,” Brown said. “This book tracks from 1995 to 2010 and shows how people in say, Saint Louis County, have moved millions of dollars of AGI to Dallas County, Texas.”
Brown says the book is intended to be informative, providing the data in the first “user friendly” format for the first time. The app, which is available through the app store on your smartphone, tells the user what amount of AGI has moved into, or out of, the county of their location at any given time.
Brown said most people understood that revenue moved to places with favorable tax rates, but presenting the data in exact terms shocks most people.
“The 9 states that don’t tax personal income have added about 150 billion dollars in net gains of AGI in the pat 15 years,” Brown said. “States with high personal income taxes like California or New York or Massachusetts, they’ve lost 130 billion or so in that same time frame.”
The book should be relevant to Missouri readers, as the Kansas state legislature passed measures last year significantly reducing their personal income taxes over time. According to the trends and data gathered by Brown, this should indicate that Missouri will soon be losing AGI to Kansas and their lower tax rates.
“If you have growth, you have options,” Brown said. “Consumption or sales taxes, they tend to be less volatile than personal income taxes. You can maybe reinvest in some government spending, or scale back your taxes when you get growth. But without growth, you don’t have options.”
Brown’s book is can be ordered online at Amazon.com and HowMoneyWalks.com.
Collin Reischman my be reached by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Collin Reischman was the Managing Editor for The Missouri Times, and a graduate of Webster University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.