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Many Marylanders who leave go to Virginia, study finds

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Maryland lost the most residents in the region between 2007 and 2010 — and many of them went to Virginia, according to a study released Tuesday by Change Maryland.

Nearly 40 percent of the 31,000 Marylanders who left the state crossed the Potomac River for new homes in Virginia, taking in $390 million in taxes with them.

North Carolina was the next most popular destination for those leaving the Free State.

Change Maryland's study shows county-by-county changes in the state's tax base. It was based on analysis of data from the Internal Revenue Service's Statistics of Income Division.

“The benefits of a growing tax base ease the pressure to raise revenues, and conversely, a shrinking tax base often leads to a troublesome tax-and-spend downward spiral as actual revenues fail to meet estimates,” said Change Maryland Chairman Larry Hogan.

Maryland suffered a larger tax base loss than 43 other states. The only states that lost more people were in the three-year period were New York, California, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio and New Jersey.

According to the study, within Maryland, Prince George's and Baltimore County underwent steep population declines, with more than 44,000 leaving Prince George's County and 36,600 leaving Baltimore County .
Montgomery County's tax base declined by $22 million.

“Baltimore City is losing its tax base at unacceptable levels and Montgomery County's stagnant tax base will further tarnish its business reputation as officials seek more taxes to make up for budget shortfalls,” Mr. Hogan said.

Benefiting from in-state migration are counties along the Eastern Shore. Kent, Talbot, Queen Anne's and Worcester counties saw their numbers on the upswing.

“These small economic engines are powering the state forward by attracting new residents. Clearly where we need to see improvement is in our largest jurisdictions,” Mr. Hogan said.

Nearby, the District lost over 1,100 residents and Pennsylvania lost over 8,200. Delaware, Virginia and West Virginia, on the other hand, gained tax filers.

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