The Wealthiest State in the Nation
Posted by Jim Walsh on Wednesday, August 29, 2007
The U.S. Census Bureau just announced its annual income and poverty estimates for the nation. Maryland has the distinction of having the highest median household income ($65,144) and the lowest poverty rate (7.8%) in the U.S. Howard County had the highest median household income in Maryland ($94,260) and ranked third among all counties nationally (behind only Fairfax and Loudoun counties in Virginia).
Combine these high income – low poverty figures with the high tax rates imposed here, and I’m at a loss to see how the State and its subdivisions can be complaining about “structural deficits” and a lack of revenue. I recall many high-tax apologists spin our tax burden by noting that our taxes, as a percentage of household income, are at about the national average. That argument has never made any sense to me. If government is supposed to address its citizens’ needs, should not those needs, and the level of government services, decrease as the citizens’ wealth increase? Given our high income levels, our tax rates should be below average. Am I missing something?