Tuesday May 21, 2013 | 02:15 PM
Posted by Chris Hall

We hear so much about how Maine isn't competitive with states that have lower taxes.  For years the debate around Maine's tax burden has centered on the assumption that Maine would be a more attractive place to live and work if only we could reduce our taxes.

Well guess what - we were wrong!  In fact since 1995 we've been winning the battle to attract wealth to Maine.

Travis H. Brown is the Author of How Money Walks, a book that details the in-flow and out-flow of wealth on a state by state basis over the last 15 years.  Take a look at Brown's data for Maine's gain and loss of wealth since 1995.  You'll see that, on net, we've gained over $1.5 billion in adjusted gross income with the strongest gains coming in the last 10 years.

Brown spoke at the Blaine House yesterday and urged Maine to consider lower income taxes so we can attract even more wealth from neighboring New England states.  Given the state budget crunch that may be difficult to do.

But the real takeaway from Brown's book is that Maine has quietly been stealing wealth from other parts of the country much faster than we've been losing it (to places like Florida).  On net we're winning - and that's much better news than you usually hear about our tax code and our attractiveness.

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About the Author

Chris Hall is the CEO of the Portland Regional Chamber. He’s been working in Chambers of Commerce in Maine for over 20 years, and Notes from the Chamber will bring you his perspective and comment on what’s happening in the Portland region that’s most important to our economy today and tomorrow.

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