Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

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
Opinion
  • Time to do it Time to do it

    It never made sense that criminal background checks were not made on medical license applications in Maryland. Fortunately — for the protection everybody — the background investigations may soon be a matter of routine.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • If you don’t like the way things are going, vote to change them

    I daily hear complaining about the decline of America. I also hear people say that things will only get worse and there is nothing we can do about it. Admittedly, I used to be like this.

    July 31, 2014

  • Thanks for publishing both sides, but only one was right

    Kudos to the Cumberland Times-News for publishing opposing Reader Commentaries (“Other groups get county funds, so should CHCO” and “No public funding for extremist organization,” July 30); a relatively minor issue, but a great demonstration of our cherished “Freedom of the Press.”

    July 31, 2014

  • Hold on a minute ... we know these guys

    Tom Bosley says this isn’t the Garrett County revival of “Space Cowboys”. They’re just getting the band back together — Bosley, Don Stemple, Oren Yoder and Matt Redinger. They’ve been there, done that, and they’re ready, willing and able to be there and do it again.

    July 31, 2014

  • They can say it’s in Timbuktu, but it’s still in West Virginia

    I feel that I have to respond to recent articles about the out of control Potomac Highlands Airport Authority.

    July 31, 2014

  • State would require disclosure of chemicals used at well sites

    A recent article (“Docs want full disclosure of chemicals that would be used in fracking process,” July 21, Page 1A) and editorial (“No secrets: Chemical use in fracking a concern to all,” July 22) in the Times-News might have caused confusion about Maryland’s proposal on public disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing.

    July 31, 2014

  • If we don’t sell it to them, somebody else will

    The front page article on coal exports by AP writer Dina Cappiello is one of the most asinine and biased “news” articles I’ve read (“Not in my backyard: U.S. sending dirty coal abroad,” July 29 Times-News, Page 1A).

    July 30, 2014

  • Research cost of watershed plan before implementing it

    July 30, 2014

  • ‘Prayers in the Park’ event slated Aug. 18 in Johnstown

    July 30, 2014

  • Not a villain Not a villain

    Time was that we looked for heroes. Heroes of the make-believe variety have sold a lot of comic books. We also had real-life heroes like Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, whose deaths the whole nation mourned.
    These days, we seem to be more interested in looking for villains. “Vote for me because I’m the good guy” has taken a back seat to “Don’t vote for him, because he’s the bad guy.”

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo