(Good rundown. John Walsh is going to be mad you are denigrating our fine state though. – promoted by Rob “EaBo Clipper” Eno)
Kevin Williamson strikes gold again.
Lets put it to the test. Is Massachusetts signing up for a suicide pact?
1. Make work expensive. The nine states with the highest personal-income-tax rates lost $100 billion in AGI from 1995 to 2010. The nine states without any personal-income tax gained $146 billion. In all, some $2 trillion has moved between the states during the years for which Brown has data, and the pattern consistently favors low-tax jurisdictions.
Our Democrat-controlled legislature just passed a $500M tax increase, and for the first time in state history applied the sales tax to software services. The one sector in MA that was actually growing was the innovation sector, of which software services are a driving force.
2. Attack lifetime savings. Florida is a good place to live and a great place to die. Its lack of a personal income tax is attractive, and so is its lack of an estate tax.
Massachusetts’ estate tax excludes the first $1M, harsher than the federal of $5.25M.
3. Run up your state’s long-term liabilities. That means fat pensions for unionized state employees funded mostly by hopes and dreams and fairy dust. The states with the most serious unfunded-liability problems are basically ebola-infected hot zones for mobile capital and income.
According to a Beacon Hill Institute report in February of 2013, Massachusetts faces a combined $23.6 billion unfunded liability in its three largest pension funds: the State Employee’s Retirement System, the Massachusetts Teacher’s Retirement System and the Boston Teacher’s Retirement System. Under current assumptions made by the Commonwealth, fully funding the three largest pension funds would require the Commonwealth to make mortgage payments of $1.3 billion a year for the next 30 years.
4. Tax fanciful things. Maryland is the innovation leader here, with the ingenious leadership of Governor Martin O’Malley having decided to levy a tax on rain.
While not as fanciful as Maryland, Massachusetts did just tax software services and a gas tax increase tied to inflation so the legislature never has to vote to raise it again.
5. Don’t just be crazy – be California crazy. California is running out of things in the present to tax, and its future does not look terribly bright, so it has resorted to taxing the past.
Taxes applied only to your one growth sector, a gas tax tied to inflation, a personal income tax, a death tax, an excise tax on alcohol. The list goes on. What hasn’t Massachusetts taxed yet?
So there you have it. Massachusetts has all the ingredients for State suicide.
Also: The one thing left out is Prevailing Wage and non-right-to-work status. MA prevailing wage adds up to 22% in construction costs to every state and municipal building project according to the Beacon Hill institute. And project labor agreements and forced unionization add millions as well.