All over this country, thousands of retired people, or those who are about to retire, think about where they would like to live. Some choose to stay put, while others decide to go elsewhere, for many reasons, such as climate, crime, taxes, family, etc.
Maine has a lot going for it. There is a low crime rate, many retirement communities, more than 3,400 miles of shoreline, a small population, four seasons and unparalleled beauty, etc.
When it comes to taxes, Maine taxes and benefits for retirees with low incomes are competitive with most states. However, many of today's retirees have higher Social Security benefits, along with company pensions, IRAs, 401(k) accounts, etc. For that group, taxes in Maine are the tipping point for many to make the move to more tax-friendly states. Others, including Mainers, call those tax friendly states home and come to Maine for six months or less to avoid Maine income taxes.
Exempt retirees from those income sources, as many other states do, and I truly believe that many retirees will stay, move back, or decide to call Maine their home.
That would be a game-changer for Maine in regards to businesses, jobs, property taxes, housing, etc. Sure, the state would lose some income on some current retirees; however, the new income from the higher end retirees would more than offset the loss to the state.
Warren Wright, Buckfield