Maryland Shrugged

October 10th, 2010

What happens when you raise taxes in Maryland on the highest earners? They flee.

From the CSM:

Expatriation. It’s happening. Thousands of people are picking up stakes and leaving. They’re leaving their high-tax home states.

“I’m outa here. I’ve had enough,” said a friend at dinner last week. “[Maryland Governor] O’Malley thinks he can tax us all he wants. But I don’t have to put up with it. I can move. We bought a place in Florida.

“He probably thinks it doesn’t matter. What’s a single taxpayer, more or less? That’s not going to change the outcome of an election. But I’m taking my business with me. I’ll set up shop in Florida. I don’t have to be in Maryland. I can get crab cakes in Miami too.”

The WSJ reported:

Governor Martin O’Malley, a dedicated class warrior, declared that these richest 0.3% of filers were “willing and able to pay their fair share.” The Baltimore Sun predicted the rich would “grin and bear it.”

However, there were two things that Maryland politicians didn’t count on (1) a world-wide economic crisis decreasing the number of million dollar earners and (2) millionaires simply leaving (or taking in less income). “By April 2009, one-third of the millionaires have disappeared from Maryland tax rolls. On those missing returns, the government collects 6.25% of nothing. Instead of the state coffers gaining the extra $106 million the politicians predicted, millionaires paid $100 million less in taxes than they did last year – even at higher rates.

H/T Michael K.