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Old 04-26-2013, 07:49 AM   #21
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If you move from NYC to Las Vegas you will understand.
I hear you. I been to NV for business reasons a couple of times. I suspect I woulld not be able to convince my wife to live there. But what about FL. I been to Palm Beach and that looks like nice place. I guess it might be a bit hot in the summer but the beach would be nice. I am also of the opinion that as we get old living in warmer climates would be better for our health.
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:54 AM   #22
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That's why better-off Floridians maintain summer homes in the mountains.

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I But what about FL. I been to Palm Beach and that looks like nice place. I guess it might be a bit hot in the summer .
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:06 AM   #23
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I have a friend whose parents spend the winter in Florida and the warmer months back at their original home in Michigan. Most of their family is back in Michigan though, so when the parents get old enough to where they can't make the drive anymore, they're planning on giving up the place in Florida and staying full time back in Michigan.

As for me, I live in Maryland, which according to that income tax map is fairly high, with a median tax intake of $1144 (I wish...I had to cough up $6063 for 2012, although that did include state and local taxes as well). But, for all the horror stories of high taxes in places like NJ, CA, and NY, I thought the numbers would be worse. Of course, those numbers are simply averages, and probably affected greatly by people on various welfare programs.

And, there's more to the tax story than just income tax. As the original post brought up, there's sales tax, property tax, etc.

In my case, Maryland's sales tax is 6%, but excludes food items (unfortunately, beer isn't considered a food item.) My property taxes were around $3100 last year, which I don't find too horrible. Like others have mentioned, there are so many other variables, other than taxes to consider. Family, friends, things to do, climate, and so on. When I retire, I know I'll enjoy traveling about, but I don't know if I'm ready to give up on Maryland as my home base. Plus, the house I live in has been in the family practically since the dawn of time (Grandmom's Uncle Luther built the original part of the house in 1916, but I'm sure the land was in the family long before that), so giving it up would feel like losing a piece of my history.

I have fantasized about getting a second home somewhere warm, when I retire. But, in the long run, it might be easier to just rent a place for a month or two, rather than get tied down.
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:50 PM   #24
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See that's the difference, we live in an 1800sq ft colonial and drive older cars and or local property tax bill is $7800 a year. Layer in one of the highest gas taxes, state income tax, and taxes on everything from soup to nuts, my family even asks why we would stay here. I see them about a half dozen times a year which I could still do from somewhere else.

What makes it worse is we are settling a relatives' estate down in central Virginia...bigger house with city utilities in a nice neighborhood and the taxes are $1700/yr. That's a BIG difference!
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Old 05-03-2013, 02:00 PM   #25
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I was looking for a thread like this - re: taxes & moving. DH & I have been discussing the subject a lot lately. We live in Maryland and we are conservatives, so we are really annoyed at the liberals and their ever-increasing propensity to tax everything they can (have you heard of our new "rain tax"? And the gas tax is being raised 20 cents over the next few years). But it's the 7.5% tax on all of our retirement savings that has us ready to bolt. We are close to the PA line where retirement is not taxed at all, so it would be an easy move to make a 7.5% return on our IRA/401K money. But we have been looking at all the pieces - the cost and hassle of moving, and the fact that we really love our current over-55 neighborhood, our neighbors, and our house. If we moved just over the line, we would still be close to family and friends.

DH still wants to work for another year or two, so we don't have to decide yet, but the subject comes up a lot. Do we stay where we are happy and comfortable, and just grit our teeth when we pay the 7.5% on every withdrawal? Or move to a place we might or might not like as much to save the taxes, which will add up to a LOT over the next 20-30 or more years? We'll see!
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Old 05-03-2013, 02:12 PM   #26
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Many years ago I lived in S. Florida (Palm Beach to Miami area). Many of my neighbors were snowbirds from NY. They lived in FL just enough to show residency and went back up north for the hot months.

I hated it.

I didn't like not having full time neighbors. I was trying to lay down roots, and ironically both the young people (looking for work) and the old people (snowbirds) had no roots. It was not fun to live there full time. Although I admit come this time of year (May), it was great because we finally got the place to ourselves.

Anyway, now that I'm on the other side, I wonder how it would feel to be a snowbird? Not sure I could live there 100% time due to heat and hurricanes. But some days when I pay my state tax bill, I yearn for my days in the Sunshine state.

BTW cj: many municipalities in NC already have a rain tax (impermeable surface/waterway improvement) tax. We're ahead of you. Our councilpeople say they got the idea from some other city. Maybe you got it from us. But you are behind.
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Old 05-03-2013, 02:24 PM   #27
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The retirement tax would be hard to stomach but, really, griping about gas taxes? Gas taxes are a pass-through tax. They're used (and then some) for infrastructure such as...roads and bridges. You people drive on non-toll roads, don't you?
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Old 05-03-2013, 02:33 PM   #28
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The retirement tax would be hard to stomach but, really, griping about gas taxes? Gas taxes are a pass-through tax. They're used (and then some) for infrastructure such as...roads and bridges. You people drive on non-toll roads, don't you?
Of course I drive on roads. But in Maryland, they never use the taxes for what they are intended. We pay gas taxes already, which supposedly go into the transportation fund. However, they have raided it time and again for other purposes, and voila - not enough taxes for roads and bridges. In the discussion for the additional 20 cents, they discussed putting the new $$ into a "lock box", only to be used for transportation, but that provision was removed in the final bill. So there is no guarantee that the gas tax will be used for roads and bridges.

Don't get me started, or this will have to be moved to the politics section.
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Old 05-03-2013, 02:34 PM   #29
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The retirement tax would be hard to stomach but, really, griping about gas taxes? Gas taxes are a pass-through tax. They're used (and then some) for infrastructure such as...roads and bridges. You people drive on non-toll roads, don't you?
In Maryland, I think they're used to pad the politicians' pockets!
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Old 05-03-2013, 02:42 PM   #30
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Of course I drive on roads. But in Maryland, they never use the taxes for what they are intended. We pay gas taxes already, which supposedly go into the transportation fund. However, they have raided it time and again for other purposes, and voila - not enough taxes for roads and bridges. In the discussion for the additional 20 cents, they discussed putting the new $$ into a "lock box", only to be used for transportation, but that provision was removed in the final bill. So there is no guarantee that the gas tax will be used for roads and bridges.

Don't get me started, or this will have to be moved to the politics section.
Ah, that makes more sense. It's just a disguised general revenue tax.
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Old 05-03-2013, 02:51 PM   #31
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As pointed out one of the variables to consider relates to how much house one wants to buy. In Tx for example although there is no state income tax property taxes are higher, so if you want to live in a desirable area in a metro you will pay more. Live in the country and pay less, but the size of house will make a big difference (since that does relate to the assessed value and thus the taxes). Now the school taxes are essentially equalized across Tx one of the issues then is do you live in an incorporated area or an unincorporated area. (Although then one has to offset the cost of trash pickup say 450-500/year against the city taxes if they don't charge a trash fee).
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:24 PM   #32
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As pointed out one of the variables to consider relates to how much house one wants to buy. In Tx for example although there is no state income tax property taxes are higher, so if you want to live in a desirable area in a metro you will pay more. Live in the country and pay less, but the size of house will make a big difference (since that does relate to the assessed value and thus the taxes). Now the school taxes are essentially equalized across Tx one of the issues then is do you live in an incorporated area or an unincorporated area. (Although then one has to offset the cost of trash pickup say 450-500/year against the city taxes if they don't charge a trash fee).
Yes. One of the things I liked about FL was the real estate taxes were not horrible either. Not sure if that's changed.

But beware! Water costs more. Insurance was sky high. FL is in a corner of the country, so if you want to travel, to other parts of the USA, it is more time and money. Etc.

There are many, many variables to take into consideration.
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:27 PM   #33
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I'm generally of the opinion that most states will get their tax $$ out of ya somehow (combo income/property/sales/etc), and some will suck the life blood out of ya tax more heavily. As was said, sometimes local taxes can be VERY significant. That said, it is also important to look at budget deficits for an idea of where taxes are likely to go up to meet gov't "needs"-
State Budget Gaps: How Does Your State Rank?

Would be counter-productive to move to a lower tax state only to have taxes skyrocket after you became a resident
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:53 PM   #34
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Maybe I just missed it, but I saw no specific mention of local tax variations (e.g. county and municipal) as a factor. In my case (Virginia – state tax wise on the upper side of the middle of the pack of states (30th ? maybe). I live in NOVA (Fairfax County to be specific) and state allows localities to levy additional taxes and fees on certain items. I’ll use gas as an example, I don’t know the specific amount but gas is always 30 to 40 cents cheaper when I get a couple counties out. Property taxes are typically 30 cents per $100 lower (e.g. ~$0.80 vs $1.12) a few counties out (varies by county/municipality) . Fees for any home work/upgrades that require permitsand inspections from the county are lower. And most things are less expensive such as haircuts, car repairs/mechanics, home repairs/maintenance (assuming you are not a DIYer).

I know, people live in the D.C suburban area because the high paying jobs are here. But now that I am retired and don’t have to worry commuting I am looking at moving within state, just away from the high tax, high cost of living area of Northern Virginia. I can move few counties out, and I am still be near friends and family while still reasonably close to DC (not that I go down there often) and Dulles airport, plus everything is so much cheaper (taxes, services, more house for the money).

I just wanted to throw in that it may be just more the state tax rates on income, pensions, 401k/IRA withdrawals…, but the locality of the state you are in may be another factor also.

I imagine things are much the same when you retire/live in any prosperous metropolitan area (e.g. NYC area). I do agree with everyone posted that it’s more than just the tax/cost of living that needs to be factored in when making a move decision (e.g. family, friends, social and life style factors.)
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:40 PM   #35
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There are places in the United States that you could PAY me to live there (not just no taxes, but PAY me), and I wouldn't.

State and local taxes are just one data point among many when deciding where to live.

For example, Florida. I have family in Florida, and I enjoy visiting them sometimes. But I have zero desire to live there. Somebody could give me a nice home there and PAY me to live there, and I wouldn't.
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:05 PM   #36
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Maybe I just missed it, but I saw no specific mention of local tax variations (e.g. county and municipal) as a factor.
And it doesn't stop at taxes.

Watch carefully the following, most of which are at local level:
- vehicle fees and stickers
- toll roads
- stormwater runoff fees (rain tax)
- garbage fees
- hazardous waste fees
- emergency center (911, etc.)
- water rates
- sewer rates
- local school districts
- local fire districts

A lot of these things are not always listed on those national tax stories. Some are insidious. My municipality is loath to raise taxes, so they keep adding new items to our water bill like hazardous waste and stormwater fees. When they do that, you can't deduct them either.

It gets complicated.
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:20 PM   #37
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...
Net net, financially there would be some modest savings in moving from NYC to a lower tax location. These are not a big deal in the short run, but they would certainly add up over time. Measured against the "costs" of leaving friends behind, proximity to family, and some lifestyle issues, it is a tough call for now.

I plan to make the most of the summer in NYC and make a decision later this year.
Over time the most important factors are friends and family. Don't move.
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:33 PM   #38
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There are places in the United States that you could PAY me to live there (not just no taxes, but PAY me), and I wouldn't.

State and local taxes are just one data point among many when deciding where to live.

For example, Florida. I have family in Florida, and I enjoy visiting them sometimes. But I have zero desire to live there. Somebody could give me a nice home there and PAY me to live there, and I wouldn't.
I'm totally with you on that one. I have had family in Florida for almost 40 years. I've never really liked it there.
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Old 05-04-2013, 03:13 PM   #39
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I found the cost of living calculator at Cost of Living Comparison to be a good place to start.
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Old 05-04-2013, 05:59 PM   #40
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If taxes were the most important factor, we'd probably wind up in states we would have no other interest in living there. More important to us are climate and seasonal changes, mortality rates, health care, proximity to family or friends (geographically or next to first rate transportation centers) good cultural and health care facilities, and anyplace that would make my wife happy. If it were me, I'd be in NYC. But that would be a nonstarter for my wife. Funny, but where we currently live satisfies most of our criteria; yet, it makes neither of us happy. We're looking at NC where tax rates are very good for us.
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