I must disagree with letter writer Neil L. Bergsman's view that high taxes don't drive people out of Maryland ("Tax rates have a negligible effect on people's decision to move out of state," Dec. 29).

My wife and I retired from the federal government, and it puzzles us why Maryland is taxing our retirement income when states like Texas and Florida do not tax retirement income or Social Security benefits.

Maryland is not a tax-friendly state for retirees, even though Social Security benefits are not taxed here. Many people do leave Maryland once they retire, mainly due to the tax rates on retirees' incomes.

Of course, there are other valid reasons for people to leave Maryland, such as warmer weather and a lower cost of living elsewhere. Like many of our retired friends and neighbors who have left Maryland for more tax-friendly states, we are planning to do likewise unless the legislature changes the state's tax code to end taxing retirement income.

Clarence H. Harrell

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