Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

August 21, 2013

Exodus

Are high taxes causing people to leave Maryland?

Using tax return information from the Internal Revenue Service, The Tax Foundation says Maryland lost 66,000 residents and $5.5 billion in taxable income during the decade 2000-2010.

According to MarylandReporter.com, conservatives say this is a strong indication people are leaving the state because of its high taxes and moving to other states where taxes are lower.

Not to pat ourselves on the back, but we have been suggesting this possibility for some time now.

We occasionally receive e-mails that include computer-altered photographs of Maryland road signs saying things like “Maryland Welcomes You. Bring Your Wallet,” or “Welcome To Maryland. What’s In Your Wallet?”

Some people seem to agree with our notion that Maryland’s government apparently believes it has better uses for our money than we do.

A Tax Foundation map that shows the migration of income indicates high-tax states like New York, California and New Jersey are the biggest losers when it comes to population and tax revenue. Lower-tax states like Florida, Texas and Nevada — which have no state income tax — were the big gainers, along with Arizona and North Carolina. Migration cost Pennsylvania $4.38 billion in tax revenue, but West Virginia gained $117 million.

Neil Bergsman, director of what Maryland-Reporter.com says is the “tax-friendly” Maryland Budget and Tax Policy Institute, doesn’t disagree with the Tax Foundation’s figures. He does say the foundation “wants us to assume” people are leaving of Maryland because of taxes, when they actually “are moving mostly for other reasons” like warmer weather and lower housing costs.

We would suggest to Mr. Bergsman that taxes have a major influence on the price of housing.

On the other hand, one of the states that gained population and revenue was Maine, which actually has higher taxes than Maryland does. Unless someone lives in northern Alaska (one of several low-tax states that lost population), he’s not likely to move to Maine in search of warmer weather.

Collection of statistics has become close to an exact science. The same cannot be said for interpretation of statistics. If you want to know why people have moved to another state, ask them.

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • Preposterous Preposterous

    File this one under the We Thought We’d Heard Everything category: A man who attempted the armed robbery of a pizza shop is now suing the pizzeria and the employees who tackled him and wrestled his gun away during the holdup.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • No secrets No secrets

    The idea of fracturing for natural gas makes many people anxious about potential harmful effects. For that reason alone, it is incumbent on Maryland government to require full disclosure of chemicals used in the process.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don’t do it. Don’t do it

    Temperatures have been moderate recently but are projected to rise to the upper 80s and low 90s later this week, so we want to remind you: Never leave children unattended in a vehicle.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • July 20, 1969 July 20, 1969

    When Apollo 11 landed on the moon 45 years ago today, it was until that time the mostwatched television programming in history.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stopgap

    Kicking the can down the road was one of the things American kids did to pass the time in the old days, particularly if they lived in rural areas where there was little traffic to contend with.

    July 16, 2014

  • Maryland on target to meet 2025 bay restoration goals

    July 16, 2014

  • Tough luck Tough luck

    The state has for a second time declined to help Allegany County get federal flood recovery funds in the wake of the June 12 storm.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Heard it all Heard it all

    Pesky thing, this requirement that political candidates file campaign finance reports.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Build it now Build it now

    Anticipated savings from demolition work that will provide ground for a new Allegany High School on Haystack Mountain may allow the addition of an auditorium at the school.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Get on with it

    Now that Maryland State’s Attorney General Doug Gansler has been asked to help with the investigation of the McCoole Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department it is our hope that the probe regains traction.

    July 12, 2014