It is with a heavy heart that after living here for 40 years, my husband and I must bid Maryland farewell. We can no longer afford to support fiscal and social programs with which we do not agree.
We moved here in 1973, bought a home we could afford, sent our children to Maryland public schools, worked for Maryland companies, paid our share of property and income taxes, and lived within our means. And now that we have retired, the state of Maryland feels it is entitled to increase the tax burden on our hard-earned retirement income.
After researching the issue, we found that Florida has no state income tax and no state estate tax. We recently purchased a home in Florida, and in May we will establish Florida residency.
We are not alone. Florida real estate brokers told us that the exodus from Maryland is astonishing. The last legislative session that increased taxes, went soft on illegal immigration and hardened criminals, and stepped on the Constitution's Second Amendment was the catalyst we needed to move.
That Gov. Martin O'Malley thought it was his most productive session ever was ample proof that we do not align with his vision for our once beloved state.
The real tragedy of our departure is not only the income the state will lose because we are no longer obliged to pay state income tax, but Maryland also loses the hundreds of volunteer hours I devote to my church, Towson University and Mercy Hospital. Florida will now be the beneficiary of my money and my free labor.
So good-bye, Maryland, I will miss you. But if your policies ever change from being the mismanaged "Freeloader State" back to the well-managed "Free State" I may return.
Constance Kihm, ParktonCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun