Do the math. The tax rate on the wealthiest Marylanders keeps rising, and the left really believes that this will not trigger continued movement to tax-free states. Here is a little math exercise: Consider a wealthy Marylander worth $10 million who retires with $500,000 of income a year (assuming a 5 percent return). If she chooses to stay a Maryland resident, she owes upward of $50,000 a year in state taxes. Now, she likely has a place in Florida where she lives three-to-four months a year to avoid this wonderful weather.
With the tax rate continuing to rise, she makes a decision to stay six months and a day and play a bit more golf in Florida. She becomes a Florida resident and now pays nothing to Maryland in income taxes. Maryland has lost this $50,000 annuity forever. The $50,000-a-year in taxes can now pay for an $800,000 mortgage on a Florida house that the citizens of Maryland have helped buy. If you think this isn't the case, watch the parade of moving vans moving from San Francisco, Calif. (with its new top 13.3 percent tax rate) to Dallas, Texas which has no state income tax.
Gov. Martin O'Malley thinks that if you put the frog in the pot of hot water and slowly bring it to the boil that the frog won't notice. The frog is now dead (or moving to Florida). Thanks, Governor O'Malley, but wealthy people typically don't get wealthy by being stupid — and passing up your offer of a free house for an extra few months playing golf would be stupid.
Ira Malis, BaltimoreCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun