In a recent column (“Raising taxes without genuine reforms actually harms education,” July 8), M.D. Harmon argued against the Stand Up for Students referendum question on this November’s ballot.

He suggested that highly paid people, such as doctors, would choose to move to New Hampshire, Florida or Texas because those states do not have income taxes. There are several problems with this argument.

Such people already have an incentive to move, yet they have chosen to live here and remain here, despite Maine’s income tax. Those of us who choose to reside here understand that living in Maine provides many benefits that are not reducible to financial rewards.

One such benefit is the solid education Maine provides to its children. A recent study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation ranked Maine 15th in public K-12 education quality. Florida ranked 30th and Texas 32nd.

A highly paid professional might realize that moving to such a state could decrease one’s tax liability but require spending more money on private education.

Since these professionals are likely to have benefited from excellent educations and to value one for their children and their neighbor’s children, they might choose to stay in Maine and to support the referendum, which will raise their taxes by $30 for every $1,000 they make in excess of $200,000.

The money raised by passing the Stand Up for Students referendum will allow us to invest in our public schools, which will attract such professionals and help us to turn more of our own citizens into people who help to generate wealth and contribute significantly to Maine’s future prosperity.