Delegate Hopes Estate Tax Bill Will Keep People in Maryland

- ANNAPOLIS, Md. - A bill to give estate tax relief to people passed in the Maryland General Assembly, and a local delegates believes it will encourage people to stay in the state.

The Maryland Senate and Maryland House of Delegates both passed the bill, which Governor Martin O'Malley is expected to sign into law.

"I think what it will do is people will have an incentive to stay in Maryland, and what's happening now is they figure out when they're getting older they leave the state because they don't want to pay the estate tax in Maryland," said Del. Michael Hough (R-Frederick/Washington), who co-sponsored the bill.

Currently, Maryland estate taxes begin after the first $1 million in value. The bill will make the state estate taxes the same as federal estate taxes,  beginning the tax at $5 million. This will be phased in over several years.

"It'll prevent people from leaving the state," Hough said. "I hear it all the time from people. In fact, Maryland was just ranked the seventh worst state to retire in. I hear it constantly from people that they're moving to Florida and other states because they pay taxes all their life, and it's not fair you pay taxes after you die."

14 states and the District of Columbia currently charge estate taxes.

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