The hypothesis that tax rates doomed Detroit is essentially the same as an argument that when stores charge higher prices, shoppers will only go to the dollar stores or other deep discount stores. That doesn't happen, because high-end stores offer sufficient extra value (more features, more service, more generous warranties, often more durable products, greater convenience, a more pleasant shopping experience, etc.) that makes it worthwhile for shoppers who have the income/finances to pay more to go there. Differentiation does exist and consumers are willing to pay for it. The same dynamic exists with regard to municipalities. Hence, the seemingly irrational decision for people to willingly pay higher taxes is a wholly rational one once the added value from their relocation is considered.