A study by the anti-tax group Change Maryland , which finds that a "millionaire's tax" may be driving out the state's wealthiest citizens, is generating controversy online.
The study reports that a net 31,000 residents left Maryland between 2007 and 2010, the span of Gov. Martin O’Malley’s millionaire’s tax, according to CNBC.
The tax imposed a rate of 6.25 percent on those with incomes of more than $1 million a year, CNBC reports. It expired in 2010.
“Maryland has reached the point of diminishing returns. We're taxing people too much and people are voting with their feet," said Change Maryland Chairman Larry Hogan, according to CNBC. “Until we change our focus from tax increases to increasing the tax base, more people are simply going to leave, leading to a downward spiral of raising revenues on fewer citizens."
According to the study, the tax actually cost Maryland $1.7 billion in lost tax revenues.
O’Malley’s office, however, blasted the report. In a blog post entitled “The Facts,” Director of Public Affairs Rick Abbruzzese calls Change Maryland a “GOP-led, partisan organization” and argues that the non-partisan Phoenix Institute found the number of millionaire households in Maryland increased 19 percent during the O’Malley Brown administration.
The Maryland Reporter wrote today, however, that Pheonix measures those with assets of $1 million or more, not incomes of $1 million or more.
“It is a lot more rare to have $1 million or more in annual income, and we do know that those numbers of Marylanders have declined since 2007 when they peaked at 8,652,” according to the Maryland Reporter.
In a Tuesday blog post, the Tax Foundation said Abbruzzese’s statements “mis-stated tax comparisons” and “cherry-picked” data.
What do you think? Have the numbers of Maryland's millionaires declined, and if so, is the decline related to taxes? Tell us in the comments.