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Thread summary:

Seeking information on Colorado; no standard deduction for children, too much smog, brown out, high amounts of fluoride in water, affordability for middle class

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Old 05-17-2006, 07:50 PM
 
Location: Denver
692 posts, read 2,372,918 times
Reputation: 364

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Not to dwell on the negatives, but to clear up any possible misconceptions.
I have a few questions.

1. on state taxes - no standard deductions for children
2. smog - (aka brown out, inversion )
3. water - high amounts of flouride
4. affordability - for working class citizens / middle class

Looking foward to hearing from someone back east with a name from my generation.

Thank you
dan
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Old 05-18-2006, 12:49 PM
 
20,310 posts, read 37,804,669 times
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Smile I'll take a shot at these questions.

1. No place on my Colorado tax form for children, only spouse. As a retiree, I get up to $20,000 of my pension exempted. Comparing taxes between areas is not easy, as there are state, county, city, sales, property, library, water, sewer, street light, telelphone, gasoline, and many other taxes that could apply in a given jurisdiction. The book "America's Best Low Tax Retirement Towns" (2002, ISBN 0-9644216-8-2) attempts to quantify "total tax load" for a finite number of areas. For households with income of $50k and a home valued at $200k, (for the cities listed in the book) Denver has the seventh cheapest tax load in the nation at $3246/year vs a national average of $5187/year. Other cities are: $6325/year in DC area; $6604/year in Miami; $10,412/year in Pittsburgh! Colorado Springs is not one of the cities they bothered to rate, but our taxes are about the same as Denver.

2. See my post on Colorado Springs having cleanest air in the nation. I see some dirty air over Denver when I go up there, not that much though. Per "Cities Ranked and Rated," where "100" equals perfect air, the U.S. average is 45, Colorado Springs is 59, Denver is 91, and Los Angeles is 02. Air here is GOOD!

3. Floride is used in the water, but certainly don't notice any off-taste or color in the water. Tap water is very cold and very good to drink without any home water treatment or filter doodads. Detailed water report is at: http://www.csu.org/environment/water/2190.pdf (broken link)

4. Very affordable compared to the DC area where we're from. The book "Cities Ranked and Rated" say the Springs has a cost of living index (COLI) of 103.1 compared to the national average of 100.0 The DC area has a COLI of 125.4 so we think it's great here. The COLI is: 139 for Los Angeles; 157 for San Diego; 168 for Orange County, CA; 179 for Oakland, CA; 184 for San Jose, CA; and 196 for San Francisco.

I cannot urge readers enough to get the book "Cities Ranked and Rated" (ISBN 0-7645-2562-X) at their local library or even buy one. Why not spend $25 if you're about to make a million dollar decision?
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Old 05-18-2006, 03:48 PM
 
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I always heard growing up that Denver had won awards for how good their water tasted but I don't have anything else to back that up.
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Old 05-18-2006, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
1,312 posts, read 6,743,154 times
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dancocal -- (part 1)

There's is a flat rate (last time I did taxes anyway) for all residents of Colorado with regards to taxes. IIRC, you can write off your state taxes against your federal taxes so it's pretty small. Some states have taxes, some don't but Colorado has gone on the theory that each pay their own...kids or not. I don't know why this would be an issue with anyone. It's solid tax collection. No one is penalized because of their circumstances and no one is favored because of them either. This is fair taxation unless my accountant hasn't read me up on the latest of CO taxes.

Inversion is common in any valley, front range community or mountainous community. This happens from the Rockies of the lower Canadian states to the lower areas of New Mexico. Colorado has addressed this agressively over the years and while we can't predict the weather (which is a huge issue here) there have been fewer and fewer smog issues in the last 30 years. We have so many mild days it doesn't really cut into the idea of inversion that say Helena, Montana may have as we are dang windy at times.

I am a native BTW.

Flouride depends upon where you live. Flouride is an additive, if I have my figures correct, in the water systems around the state. They vary upon locality and water provider.

Oddly (this was an issue in Colorado Springs a while back) that the city wanted to add flouride to the northern most parts of the city as they weren't "served" by it. I think that the opposition was thwarted but I could be wrong. But flouride is not an issue. As a native, I can tell you I have not suffered any ill effects from flouridated water.

Colorado is the most purest of water sources and what you get in municipal water is mostly what they add to filter and so-called "enhance" it. But most Front Range communities in Colorado have the best water (federally speaking as my father used to own a water filter company) of much of the nation. Think of the major sources coming from here. Water is the least of your problems unless you plan to own a farm and need to water thirsty crops. That could be a huge problem.
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Old 05-18-2006, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
1,312 posts, read 6,743,154 times
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(part 2)

"Working class" depends on your job, your vision and such. Colorado offers many communities that are very diversified with regards to income and then there are those like Aspen were you have to live in a "virtual" slum in order to sustain a family doing very fine work. But a single living with several roommates can enjoy the spoils of the life there with some commute.

Colorado typically attracts people (from out of state) that are higher educated and looking for a more active lifestyle. But a middle class family can fair better here than in say, Santa Barbara, CA.

That's not to say that lower income workers can't enjoy the same as pricing for living here is certainly lower than Phoenix, Chicago, San Fran and such.

If one were a high tech worker, they might take a pay cut to move here, or maybe not. Depends on their employer. But most companies here look to the lifestyle in addition to the lower cost of living to sustain their employees. A healthier and happier lifestyle tends to motivate people and CO has a lot to offer in that regard. Heck our obesity rates are among the lowest in the nation. That says something about our lifestyle here. (I think we were ranked 2nd behind Hawaii...and if you know anything about Hawaii, it is not cheap to live there...)

A moderate income here is less than many places and even varies wildly amongst the varying communities along the Front Range.

I live better here in C Springs than I did in what is now known as Centennial (suburb of Denver). I pay approx. $150 more for rent (keep in mind that's in 1998 standards) for a single housing unit with 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, a full two car garage and a decent sized yard than I did in Denver Metro.

In Denver Metro, I had a townhouse with two people on either side. Two bedrooms, 1 1/2 baths, a carport and an assigned parking space.

While I have to do the yard work here, I don't have to worry about my neighbors. My place now is about twice as large and my car is fully protected from the elements.

I do web design and I am far from wealthy from it. I would gather that I am on the lowest end of the so-called white-collar scale. Yet I am living comfortably.

I don't drive a fancy car. I don't need one.
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Old 05-18-2006, 08:39 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
1,312 posts, read 6,743,154 times
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WHOOPS (part 3, I missed the last of it -- my internet flatlined when trying to post last night - luckily I saved it to a text file)

I cook most of my own food. There are great restaurants in my city but I love to cook.

Life here is casual so I don't look to wearing the latest and greatest of fashion.

Overall I would say that you are picking at peas in a layed bed. You can find them but if you want the best in the world, you wont find it here or anywhere for that matter.

I have lived in Colorado Springs from 1968 - 1994 then I went to Grand Junction (which I loved and wish I could move back but because of family circumstances I wont) and then I moved to the Denver area which I miss too.

I came back to C Springs and it's okay. I plan on moving on to a smaller community about a 45 minute drive from here next year to I can rejuvenate myself yet still be close to my very large family.

My fmaily moved here in the 40s...well my great-aunt did. Then my grandmother followed with her family.

I can tell you that CO is a great place to live -- BTW, I was adopted...born in C Springs to an Air Force "higher up's" (don't know what that means to this day) daughter. Adopted by parents that were transplants to C Springs and it's still my heart and my soul even if I need a break.

I would say we have some of the better opportunities than many of the coastal states for people feel content regardless of how much money they make. The climate is wonderful. The traffic can suck but over all, it's a good place to be. (Keep in mind I have been to at mimimum of 15 states around the nation...Colorado is my love.)
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Old 05-18-2006, 09:06 PM
 
1,088 posts, read 5,733,365 times
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FYI, 2005 rankings gave Colorado the lowest obesity ranking but data was unavailable for Hawaii. Who knows maybe Hawaii has a lower level of obesity then colorado but I doubt it.
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Old 05-19-2006, 01:11 PM
 
Location: Denver
692 posts, read 2,372,918 times
Reputation: 364
Thanks for all the usefull info!
Plan on coming out for a looksee this summer (If I can sneak out - family
business).Parents will be retiring in St. George, way too hot for me! Besides,
we are not even Mormon.Need the occasional big city stimulation (grew up in
Chicago) but definitely do not want to raise my family there. Once owned a few acres in the Ca. foothills. way more work than it is worth.Really interested
in Colorado ! By the way anyone know the best route from San Marcos Ca. by
car ? oh one more thing, what is a BTW ?

dan
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Old 05-19-2006, 04:07 PM
 
1,088 posts, read 5,733,365 times
Reputation: 468
Quote:
Originally Posted by dancocal
what is a BTW ?
BTW should stand for "by the way." I think I saw somebody else use it as something else on this forum but that is the most common meaning.
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Old 02-11-2009, 02:47 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,697 times
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hi everybody..i am totally new at this forum..will u accept me
i want to learn everything about colorado because i will spend my summer there this year as a work and travel studentwill u help me??? thanks in advance..
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