New book “How Money Waiks” documents why Marylanders move elsewhere and says Maryland loses billions in tax revenue as residents leave.
by Kevin James in the Gazette
Since officially moving to Florida in May, former Maryland resident Constance Kihm said she has met numerous other former residents of the Free State. They all have their reasons for moving, but hers came down to getting away from higher taxes and from policies she couldn’t stomach.
“Real estate agents I’ve talked with say the exodus from Maryland is astonishing,” Kihm said.
A new book, “How Money Walks” by Travis H. Brown, backs up the anecdotal evidence. Looking at IRS and Census Bureau data, Brown and his team determined that Maryland lost a little more than $7 billion in adjusted gross income due to residents moving away between 1992 and 2010.
Florida, which gained $95.6 billion during that period, North Carolina, with a $25.1 billion gain, and Virginia, up $3.3 billion, were major beneficiaries, according to the book. States with gains generally have low or no local income taxes, while those with losses have higher local taxes, the book says.
Maryland is considered a high-tax state, but not as high as some that have racked up larger losses, such as New York and New Jersey, according to “How Money Walks.”
The data might add fuel to the fire of those who have long claimed there has been a large exodus of people fleeing Maryland for better tax and regulatory climates. Last year, nonprofit watchdog group Change Maryland released a report that cited IRS data, claiming that more than 30,000 Marylanders fled the state between 2007 and 2010, taking about $2 billion with them.
That led to a response on the blog of Gov. Martin O’Malley that cited the Federal Funds Information for States in saying Maryland has the third-lowest state and local tax burden, adjusted for income.
The blog also said the number of millionaires in the state continued to increase and accused Change Maryland of being a “GOP-led, partisan organization,” which led to more back and forth between O’Malley and Change Maryland leaders.
O’Malley could not be reached for comment about Brown’s book.