Before joining Messrs. Prettyman and Hess (The Gazette, Aug. 8 and Aug. 15) in fleeing to Pennsylvania to avoid Maryland taxes, you should ask yourself three questions:
1. Are you retired? Pennsylvania exempts pensions and Social Security from taxes, Maryland only the first $30,000, which is why so many people from Maryland (and other states) retire to Pennsylvania. But if you are not retired, you are not eligible for this and a significant part of your expected savings will disappear.
2. Did you include all taxes (income, property, sales, gasoline, public facility fees, etc.) in your comparison of Maryland and Pennsylvania taxes? Prettyman and Hess did not tell us what they included, if they forgot anything, they and you might find some of the expected tax savings nonexistent.
3. Does Pennsylvania provide all the services you want? If not, you will have to pay for them yourself. There is no free lunch, despite what some tea party people think. Common sense tells you that if tax income is reduced, government services will be reduced also. Many of those who complain the most about taxes are the most ignorant about the full extent of what they receive for them.
If you can give a positive answer to all three of these questions, then goodbye and Godspeed, and I hope you enjoy Pennsylvania.
Roger Burkhart, Gaithersburg