March 25, 2010

Maryland’s Millionaire Migration Debate: Understanding the Relevance of the New Jersey Migration Studies


As the debate over extending the Maryland “millionaires’ tax” continues, numerous lawmakers and advocates have recently begun to look toward New Jersey’s experience with its own “halfmillionaires’ tax” to help inform their understanding of the issues at work. In particular, two studies of New Jersey’s migration patterns—one from Boston College and one from Princeton University—have been frequently cited in recent weeks by those claiming that an exodus of Maryland’s millionaires has occurred in spite of data from the Maryland Comptroller undermining those claims. As this brief explains, while the Princeton University study does contain some lessons for lawmakers, the Boston College study offers no information whatsoever that is applicable to Maryland’s current situation—and neither study suggests that state taxes affect interstate migration in a substantial way.

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