[Baltimore Sun] Florida’s low-tax, low-cost claims are greatly overstated | READER COMMENTARY

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As a former resident of Florida for 40 years, I have to take exception to the reader who feels that Florida is a cheaper place to live and that Maryland’s gas tax is unjust (“Sun went off the road on gas tax and fees,” June 8).

My husband and I moved to Maryland last October due to the rising cost of living in Florida. House prices are among the highest in the nation, and our homeowner’s insurance went from $4,000 in 2019 to $9,000 in 2023 — with another $3,000 tacked on for flood insurance. Hurricane Ian demonstrated that you can have insurance but will not receive just payment in case of a hurricane.

We paid a higher sales tax in our county than here in Maryland. Car insurance is cheaper here. The monthly Medicare Advantage plan we have is cheaper, too. Our electric bill in Florida, despite being on a budget plan, saw three increases in 2023, and our water bill was more $100 per month.

Yes, there is no state income tax, but keep in mind that we had no public transportation, roads are congested, and the overdevelopment has destroyed all flood plans causing flooding in areas that were dry. Property taxes may be slightly lower, but the schools are so underfunded that they could not replace air conditioners in Hillsborough County’s school system and their teacher salaries are among the lowest in the nation causing a teacher shortage.

I agree that one must be careful to not just pick one stat to justify an argument. However, one must take in account the whole picture and we now call Florida “Paradise Lost.”

— Diane Pearson, Havre de Grace

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