Having just moved back to Maryland after 23 years in Dallas, I think I can bring some insight as to Texas’ merits vs. Maryland. (“A Texas remedy for what ails Maryland jobs,” June 22)
First, there is the myth that Texas is cheaper to live in than other states. Go to any online cost-of-living calculator and you will find that the cost of living in Maryland is 4 percent to 4.5 percent less than living in Texas, even with the Maryland state income tax. If you earned $50,000 a year in Texas, you’d have an extra $20-$25 a week in your pocket simply by moving to Maryland.
My experience is that property taxes in Maryland are half of those in Texas. I paid almost $8,000 a year in Texas for a home of similar value as the one I purchased in Maryland, which is only taxed $4,000. The state sales tax in Texas is 8.25 percent vs. 6 percent in Maryland, so anything one buys at a store is 2.25 percent cheaper here. While property values may have soared here during the last decade while Texas homeowners did not see a similar rise in home prices, since the housing bubble burst, you can buy a better house in Maryland for the same money than you can in Texas. I lived less than a mile from President Bush in the Preston Hollow neighborhood of Dallas and moved to Pikesville, and I can afford a bigger, better house here than the one I owned in Dallas. In Texas, I paid 10.9 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity versus 8.5 cents in Maryland. It costs more to cool your home in Texas than it does to heat a house in Maryland. I can afford to water my lawn here, not so much back in Dallas.
Read the full op-ed at The Baltimore Sun.
Is a policy analyst consultant for TCAP, a coalition of political subdivisions in Texas that purchase electricity in the deregulated market for their own governmental use. Because energy costs are typically a significant budget item to our members, TCAP is consistently looking for ways to save our members money, through cost-saving contracts, energy efficiency or demand response programs.