- The Washington Times - Friday, May 29, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Millionaires are not fleeing Maryland. The Washington Times’ conclusion that they are fleeing is contrary to the available evidence (“Millionaires’ Row,” Editorial, Thursday).

The number of millionaires is down nationally, not just in states with more progressive tax structures. There are fewer million-dollar income-tax returns because income is down - especially dividends, investments, corporate bonuses and the like. In addition, many high-income taxpayers are facing unusually complex tax situations and, as a result, likely filed for extensions. There have been no reports of sudden unexpected surpluses in Virginia, Delaware or Pennsylvania from millionaires “escaping” Maryland.

The additional three-fourths-of-1-percent tax on income more than $1 million is a small charge placed on those most able to contribute to support education, health care and public safety. Studies in New Jersey and California have shown that personal income tax rates do not significantly affect location decisions of high-earners.

What about the shortfall in revenue? It’s the economy.

NEIL L. BERGSMAN



Director

Maryland Budget & Tax Policy Institute

Annapolis

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