THE EXAMINER: When state taxes rise, businesses and residents flee.
Maryland used to be in the middle of the pack of states with business-friendly environments. No more. The Tax Foundation now ranks Maryland as the sixth worst state in the nation in which to do business. Only Rhode Island, Ohio, California, New York, and New Jersey are more hostile to job- and revenue-producing enterprises. Maryland’s “remarkable drop” – from 24th in 2008 to 45th place this year – is attributed to last year’s passage of the largest tax hike in state history, coupled with other major tax policy changes that also put the Free State dead last in the personal income tax category. . . . Decades of empirical research prove that economic growth in high-tax states consistently lags behind states with lower tax burdens. The 10 states with the lowest taxes also attracted almost 10 percent more new residents during the last decade than their high-tax counterparts. Just last year, 144,000 people fled from California’s punishing taxes, the highest state-to-state migration in the U.S. The ramifications of losing revenue-producing businesses and highly-skilled workers to lower-tax states should by now be apparent even to big-spending governors like Maryland’s Martin O’Malley and California’s Arnold Schwarzenegger – long-term economic decline.
You’d think. And yet . . . .