When I heard that Texas Gov. Rick Perry was making a trip to Maryland to lure businesses out of our state, I had to laugh out loud ("Gov. Rick Perry to visit Maryland with pitch for Texas," Sept. 12).
Mr. Perry has visited Illinois, Missouri, Connecticut, New York, Kansas and other states. I've been working in Texas on a temporary contract with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. since 2010, but I'm returning to Maryland next year. It's my home and where I will retire, and Maryland businesses need to know the truth about Texas.
In April, the Texas state legislature released a report entitled "Texas on the Brink." Here are a few statistics from that report.
On state taxes, Texas ranked 45th among states with the highest taxes. This is why Mr. Perry is so proud; it also ranked 48th on state expenditures per capita.
Meanwhile, it ranked 18th from the top in sales tax collections per capita, and 50th from the top for the percentage of its population that graduated from high school.
Texas is No. 1 in the country for the percentage of the population that is uninsured and 48th in the percentage of low-income people covered by Medicaid. It also generates more hazardous waste and carbon dioxide emissions than any other state in the nation.
If you are considering a move to Texas, you might want to read this report first. Mr. Perry likes to brag about how people get more for their money when they buy a house in Texas. What he doesn't tell consumers is that Texas has some of the highest real estate and personal property taxes in the country.
Another thing Perry doesn't point out is that when you retire in Texas your property taxes continue at these high rates and will increase. When you retire in Maryland, by contrast, you don't pay state income tax on Social Security or most pensions, and you have low property taxes.
Before a business considers moving to Texas, it might want to consider all the ramifications of living in a state that has absolutely no respect for its people. There is one small town in West Texas that is running out of water because of fracking, and the state isn't doing anything about it.
So why do you think Mr. Perry is trying so hard to recruit businesses to Texas? Could it be that Texas is "on the brink?"
S. Lee Caudle, AnnapolisCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun