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Old 05-16-2009, 10:45 PM   #41
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I agree. We live right outside of Houston and our taxes are very reasonable, IMO.
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Old 05-16-2009, 10:58 PM   #42
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I too dislike high property tax. Mine is around $7,000. However, you have to look at the whole package. Other fees and taxes. No income tax, No tax on food, medicine, and such, and a 6.5% sales tax. Our home would be a million or so dollars or more in most of California. Some states tax income, some investments, some sales, some estates, California seems to tax everything. So it is really the total package that counts, that and the fact the DW would not move no matter how cheap another place was.

Yep. Heres a list


Tax rates: Where does your state rank? - Apr. 14, 2009
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Old 05-16-2009, 11:37 PM   #43
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^there is a good reason to live in Alaska.

Our sales tax (Minnesota) is increasing to almost 7%. However, clothing and grocery items are not taxed.
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Old 05-16-2009, 11:59 PM   #44
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^there is a good reason to live in Alaska.

Our sales tax (Minnesota) is increasing to almost 7%. However, clothing and grocery items are not taxed.
Yeah then you need to look into cost of living. So many variables to determine which is best for each person.
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Old 05-17-2009, 09:21 AM   #45
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Yeah then you need to look into cost of living. So many variables to determine which is best for each person.
Yep. That's always true. Like the "traditional" description of retirement funding, state taxation is a three legged stool between income, sales and property taxes. Each individual needs to examine their own incomes, spending habits and housing needs/wants to figure out where (from a tax standpoint) they would be best off.

A state that can be a tax haven for one household could be a tax hell for another if one was high-income and house-poor and the other was lower-income and house-rich. A high state sales tax may be a showstopper for people who consume a lot of taxable "stuff" whereas someone who is LBYM and buys little more than the (often tax-exempt) essentials wouldn't be bothered by it.
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Old 05-17-2009, 09:33 AM   #46
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Yep. That's always true. Like the "traditional" description of retirement funding, state taxation is a three legged stool between income, sales and property taxes. Each individual needs to examine their own incomes, spending habits and housing needs/wants to figure out where (from a tax standpoint) they would be best off.

A state that can be a tax haven for one household could be a tax hell for another if one was high-income and house-poor and the other was lower-income and house-rich. A high state sales tax may be a showstopper for people who consume a lot of taxable "stuff" whereas someone who is LBYM and buys little more than the (often tax-exempt) essentials wouldn't be bothered by it.
The low property taxes (and average income tax, high sales tax) setup here has been very helpful during recent years leading up to ER. You're right - - it would be difficult for those buying a lot of taxable "stuff" to pay our 9.75% sales tax. An increase to 10.0% sales tax was supposed to be on the April 4th ballot and is still in the works. But we are not buying much this year since we don't need a lot more "stuff" to move north after ER.
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Old 05-17-2009, 09:59 AM   #47
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I agree. We live right outside of Houston and our taxes are very reasonable, IMO.
Another factor is that generally the cost of living is quite low in most of the state. At least that is our experience from traveling around the country.

Even though we don't own a home but rather stay at campgrounds, it has been pointed out to me in the past that we are still paying property taxes through our campground "rent". Well, the thing is that campground fees in Texas are still some of the lowest in the country compared to all the states we have travelled through. So somehow "high" property taxes are not affecting what campgrounds charge. There are obviously many other factors involved.

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Old 05-17-2009, 10:26 AM   #48
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Another factor is that generally the cost of living is quite low in most of the state. At least that is our experience from traveling around the country.

Even though we don't own a home but rather stay at campgrounds, it has been pointed out to me in the past that we are still paying property taxes through our campground "rent". Well, the thing is that campground fees in Texas are still some of the lowest in the country compared to all the states we have travelled through. So somehow "high" property taxes are not affecting what campgrounds charge. There are obviously many other factors involved.

Audrey
This is so true! There are so many other factors involved in cost of living, besides the local tax structure.

Even though our property taxes probably will be quite a bit higher in our future ER location in Missouri, the overall cost of living there is lower. So, the higher property taxes are not deterring us from our plans to move north.

Also as many of our forum members have discovered, the satisfaction of living someplace where you want to live can compensate to a great degree for a higher cost of living.
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Old 05-17-2009, 12:28 PM   #49
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Also as many of our forum members have discovered, the satisfaction of living someplace where you want to live can compensate to a great degree for a higher cost of living.
It's important to remember everything in that regard. I've known people who have moved somewhere only because it's "cheap" and they've hated it. As a result many of their leisure-time activities include doing stuff that requires spending money -- more dining out, going to movies, more need to travel for leisure, more shopping. So when you factor that in, has your "cheap" home and cost of living necessarily saved you money?

Contrast that to a place which may be a little more expensive on the surface, but has a lot more access to the kind of free or dirt cheap leisure activities you enjoy. After factoring in the entertainment/recreation budgets, you just might come out ahead with what seems more expensive at first glance -- and likely be happier being where you want to be, too...
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Old 05-17-2009, 01:19 PM   #50
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It's important to remember everything in that regard. I've known people who have moved somewhere only because it's "cheap" and they've hated it. As a result many of their leisure-time activities include doing stuff that requires spending money -- more dining out, going to movies, more need to travel for leisure, more shopping. So when you factor that in, has your "cheap" home and cost of living necessarily saved you money?

Contrast that to a place which may be a little more expensive on the surface, but has a lot more access to the kind of free or dirt cheap leisure activities you enjoy. After factoring in the entertainment/recreation budgets, you just might come out ahead with what seems more expensive at first glance -- and likely be happier being where you want to be, too...
So true. But then on the other hand, if one would be equally happy in either of two possible ER places, but one has a much higher cost of living, then the choice is crystal clear! The point (to me) is that these decisions should logically involve more than one criterion. You can prioritize your criteria but ignoring all but one is not helpful.
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Old 05-17-2009, 01:54 PM   #51
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Heck, my 1st half bill went up $500! Thats $1K a year! Total just over $5K for a 1400 sq/ft ranch on 3 acres (3 acre minimum in my town).

But no sales or income tax so they say NH is still one of the cheapest states tax-burden wise to live in.
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Old 05-17-2009, 02:33 PM   #52
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One of the ways to get out of paying high property taxes and keeping expenses low is to move to places such as Costa Rica or Argentina during retirement. The cost of living is definitely much lower, though medical care is of concern.
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:01 AM   #53
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First, the good news from the 2009 property tax assessment we received in the mail today: the appraised value of our home itself is unchanged from 2008.

The not so good news: They jacked up the appraised value of the land by about 75%, apparently across the board for everyone in town.
I got my 09 property tax appraisal Friday. I had the opposite results - land value unchanged but the house value increased 3.9%. This was on top of a 13% increase in 2008, reduced through an informal protest from an initial increase of 24% . I was not at all happy with the new appraisal and could see no reason for the increase as real world property values in this area have been flat at best the past year.

When I called the appraisal office a few minutes ago I was very surprised to be able to speak with an appraiser after being on hold for only a minute or so. I'd planned to be on my best behavior and discuss my issues calmly and logically, being as diplomatic as I possibly could. Turns out it wasn't required.

As I began asking what factors they'd considered in coming up with the increase, he interrupted me to say "Hold on, I think I found an error". It seems they showed my house and my deck as being built in 2008 instead of 1998. When he changed the dates in his system, instead of increasing by 3.9%, my appraised value dropped by 8.7%.

While that's one heck of a lot better, I'll end up paying almost the same in taxes this year as last year. Increases in tax rates will almost completely offset the savings I'll get due to the lower valuation.

And my doubts about the accuracy and competency of our county appraisal district continue to grow...
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