Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Another slap in the face for tax-happy politicians

A few days ago, I blogged about a New York businessman who'd shifted his domicile to Florida - and thereby saved himself over $5 million per year in NY state taxes.

It seems that Maryland has made the same mistake as New York, and is paying the same price.

Here's a two-minute drill in soak-the-rich economics:

Maryland couldn't balance its budget last year, so the state tried to close the shortfall by fleecing the wealthy. Politicians in Annapolis created a millionaire tax bracket, raising the top marginal income-tax rate to 6.25%. And because cities such as Baltimore and Bethesda also impose income taxes, the state-local tax rate can go as high as 9.45%. Governor Martin O'Malley, a dedicated class warrior, declared that these richest 0.3% of filers were "willing and able to pay their fair share." The Baltimore Sun predicted the rich would "grin and bear it."

One year later, nobody's grinning. One-third of the millionaires have disappeared from Maryland tax rolls. In 2008 roughly 3,000 million-dollar income tax returns were filed by the end of April. This year there were 2,000, which the state comptroller's office concedes is a "substantial decline." On those missing returns, the government collects 6.25% of nothing. Instead of the state coffers gaining the extra $106 million the politicians predicted, millionaires paid $100 million less in taxes than they did last year -- even at higher rates.

There's more at the link.

It's the lesson tax-and-spend politicians seem incapable of learning. Tax people too much, and they'll leave, taking their money with them, and go to places that don't rob them to share their wealth with others who've done nothing to earn or deserve it.

Go for it, rich folks! Maybe if enough of you do that, some of our politicians might at last get the point!



raven said...

They won't get the point, they will make it illegal to leave. (with any money)

Arthur said...

Not illegal to leave, just nigh impossible. It's called an "exit tax".

They'll make it so painful to leave that they'll wind up staying and getting slowly bled dry rather than getting butchered outright.