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Maryland not the 'first state' for retirement [Letter]

Concerning the recent discussion in The Sun about seniors leaving Maryland to live in retirement elsewhere ("Why I love living in Maryland," May 18), I have noticed that some of my friends and acquaintances who are retired school teachers have moved to Delaware.

They did not chose to retire to Delaware to be nearer family members, and they certainly not to move to a better climate. They made this decision due to the significantly lower tax rate. Delaware has no sales tax, and their income tax and property tax rates are about two-thirds Maryland's rate. Delaware also has far fewer annoyance fees, such as the "flush" tax and "rain" tax.

These retired teachers are receiving their retirement pensions from the Maryland State Teachers Retirement System, and the system is funded, at least in part, by Maryland general funds. This means that Maryland taxpayers' money is going to these new citizens of Delaware, presumably to be spent in Delaware.

Delaware's total budget for 2012 was about $3.5 billion, and Maryland's was more than 10 times as large. But Delaware is approximately one-fifth the size of Maryland, both in population and in land area. This means that Delaware's per-capita budget was about half that of Maryland's. This flies against the normal economic expectation that an increase in size usually means less per-capita expenditures.

I wonder how Delaware can provide virtually the same services to it's citizens, spending about half the money per-capita that Maryland spends?

Iver Mindel, Cockeysville

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