Eliminate Md. estate tax [Letter]

January 23, 2014

I have lived and paid taxes in Maryland for more than 50 years. Now, as I approach 80, I am faced with the prospect of leaving Maryland because of its confiscatory estate taxes ("Settling the estate tax," Jan. 16).

I'd prefer not to make this move, but the special needs of my children and grandchildren come first. This same sentiment motivated many of my senior friends to leave the state in recent years. As a result, Maryland will lose not only the one-time estate taxes, but is continuing to lose yearly income and sales taxes, charitable contributions and thousands of hours of volunteer service. The totality of these contributions dwarfs the $81 million in annual estate tax revenue that Maryland currently collects.

Maryland should follow the lead of states like North Carolina and eliminate its estate tax now. That would send an unmistakable message to seniors like me that a place I've loved and called home for so many years is no longer a place I must leave to die.

John W. Pettit, Easton

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