Tax-friendly states are gaining Pa. retirees

By adding an average of 803 new residents each day between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014, Florida recently passed New York to become the nation’s third most populous state, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Regarding “Fix Pennsylvania’s Awful Property Tax System” (Oct. 4 Forum): Mike Suley may have recommended that Harrisburg lawmakers fix the system, but Pittsburgh’s constituents obviously aren’t waiting for them to act.

During a recent visit to The Villages, a huge 55-plus retiree community in central Florida, I was told that two clubs are now needed to serve Pittsburgh’s former residents. That’s not just because of fear that Gov. Tom Wolf wants to make life more expensive for them, but because they don’t want their children’s inheritance to be subject to Pennsylvania’s death tax.

When will Harrisburg wake up? Many Pennsylvania residents take fat purses with them when they move, and the exodus will only grow as more of us retire and seek a more tax-friendly state in which to live. As average family wealth in Pennsylvania falls, legislatures like ours will feel obliged to raise taxes.

Ours is one of the most beautiful states in the union. Lowering taxes, rather than increasing them, may well persuade some residents to remain. Capping a retiree’s property tax may also work wonders. But that will require more than one voice calling for positive change.