Bradley R. Schiller, a professor of economics at the University of Nevada, Reno, said the argument that high taxes were not pushing people defied the obvious. Gerard Depardieu, a French actor, left his home country to avoid what he described as a severe increase in income taxes, drawing a storm of criticism from France and fellow citizens. Accordingly, Mr. Schiller said, high-profile millionaires are unlikely to want to draw attention to decisions to decamp for lower-tax states, thus making the migration harder to track.
"Taxes have to be a very important of the equation," Mr. Schiller said. "If you are talking about an income tax of 13 percent on a millionaire in California and an income tax rate of zero percent on a millionaire in Nevada, to argue that it doesn't affect a millionaire's locations decision is to say all millionaires must be stupid."
Mr. Schiller, who was born in California, now makes his home in Nevada.