Thursday, January 20, 2011

R. I. Estate Tax Sending the Wealthy to Florida?

Citing a recent study, Rhode Islander Alan G. Hassenfeld, a director of Hasbro Inc., charges that Rhode Island's stiff estate tax is driving the wealthy away. Before 2009, Rhode Island taxed estates over $675,000. The current exemption ($850,000, indexed for inflation) isn't much kinder. Even so, in The Wealth Report Robert Frank writes that he finds the study unpersuasive.

Do stiff income taxes encourage the rich to hit the road? As The New York Times notes, a number of states are wrestling with that question.

Here in New Hampshire we attract retirees despite levying income tax on their dividends and interest (but not on paychecks). Our lack of sales tax or estate tax must be sufficient to ease the income-tax pain.

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