Saturday, May 11, 2013

Escape from the People's Republic of Maryland

I was a resident of the People's Republic of Maryland (motto: if you can imagine it, we can tax it) for 26 years - longer than I lived in my birth state of Idaho by 18 years, longer than I lived in my adopted home state of California by 8 years...bottom line, a long time. I like Maryland. It's quirky, like me.

But Maryland has......issues.

In the 26 years I lived in Maryland, I worked inside of the state for barely 3 years. The rest of that time I worked in DC (1.5 years) and Virginia.

See, the PRM isn't a business-friendly kind of place. Hell, even the federal government prefers to expand further and further into Virginia rather than attempt to expand in that tax-gouging "workers paradise".

So I've spent the better part of 26 years enduring commutes of 1-2 hours each direction - simply because that's where the work was. I put up with it as long as I did because I liked where I lived.

But then insult began to be heaped on top of injury. As I posted one year ago, Governor O'Malley and the state legislature decided that those of us in the state still actually working needed to pay still more in taxes (or, as Iowahawk put it, "Maryland raises taxes on $100k+ earners stupid enough to live in Maryland").

I'd had enough, but, more importantly, Deadeye had had enough of me getting home late, exhausted from a hell commute. She pushed for us to sell the house and move to Virginia, and, after a six month adventure, we have done so. We're now residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Bottom line, we love it here. My commute now is under 20 minutes each way. And we're not subject to punitive taxes for the crime of being successful.

Blue states like Maryland view people as static actors who won't change their behavior or circumstances regardless of how much their tax policies punish them and drive away employers. They think wrong. As much as I loved living in Maryland, it wasn't enough to justify a perpetual hell commute and punitive taxation.

I'm a Virginian now, and I'm thrilled about it.