"Any self-respecting person that was wealthy enough could pay more tax just because of the quality of life in the state of Maryland," he said. "It's much ado about nothing for a very few people."
John Eckenrode, president of Catonsville-based Corporate Professional Service Inc. and one of the leaders of the tech tax repeal effort, said the extra cost of the millionaires' tax is "inconsequential" to people in that tax bracket. Like others interviewed, he declined to confirm his membership in the club but said those he knows who do qualify are "comfortable" with it.
FOR THE RECORD - An article in Wednesday's editions of The Sun stated that the new 6.25 percent tax rate adopted by the General Assembly would be the nation's first millionaire's tax bracket in the United States. A provision of California law, approved by a ballot proposition, imposes an additional 1 percent tax on income over $1 million to fund mental health programs. According to the California Franchise Tax Board, the levy is not considered a tax bracket under state law, but the result for the taxpayer is similar.
"This is the net equivalent of a person making $30,000 getting a speeding ticket on Route 95," he said. "I think it's a great trade-off to save an industry."
Christopher Summers, president of the libertarian-oriented Maryland Public Policy Institute, said Maryland traded one bad tax for another.
"I wouldn't say there'll be a mass exodus [of millionaires]," he said. "Even if one leaves, I see that as a sign of a damaging policy."
Joe Geier, whose Geier Financial Group in Ellicott City serves as financial adviser to professional athletes and other high earners, said it won't be easy for his clients to avoid the impact. For example, he said, Orioles players with multimillion-dollar contracts who live out of state must pay taxes on half their income to Maryland.
But Geier doubts many people will leave the state to stay out of the club.
"Most people are going to have to grin and bear it and pay it and not be happy about it," he said.