* REVIEW & OUTLOOK
* MAY 27, 2009
Millionaires Go Missing
Maryland’s fleeced taxpayers fight back.
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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 $100 million less in taxes than they did last year — even at higher rates.
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Does anyone really think these “liberal” politicians, bureaucrats, and media cheerleaders have any clue about human behavior?
Maybe they should get CSI to look into where all the rich folk went!
Read the Austrian School of Economics and you will find “Human Action”. Humans act. Maybe not ALWAYS rationally, but the do eventually. Unlike the frog in the mythical pot to be boiled, rich people have the most ability and incentive to move.
The loss is worse than the unnamed author makes it out to be!
And, who’s more likely to have a business, hire a staff, and have a big property tax bill? Sure not the low and middle class.
And, by turning up the fire, the gooferment may have induced those 1,000 rich folk to jump before the real estate market collapsed. I can here the conversation at the new (Pick one: Yacht, Tennis, or Country) Club now. “Yes, Muffie, I miss Maryland too. But not 16 grazillion dollars worth. Now here’s a new Mercedes SUV that I bought to console you.”
OK, corny, sure, but you get the idea. Ten per cent of a million is 100k a year. That’s the minimum bite. That is a powerful incentive to move.
Makes you wonder why there are 2,000 left. Cal Ripken is probably one. Who else?
So who gets to make up the missing 200k$ that the politicians planned for? You don’t expect them to cut anything, do you?
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