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Old 12-14-2011, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Greenville, Delaware
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I was reading an article in the barbershop earlier this morning that talked up Portsmouth, NH as a great place to live -- small and manageable but unusually sophisticated for its size. They also stated that some of the surrounding suburbs would have even cheaper property taxes. They gave an estimated annual tax burden of about $3,600 for a retired couple with an annual income of $60,000 and a $225,000 home. I wonder if that's a reasonable estimate for the cost of a nice 3 bedrm-2 bath-2 car garage house in a good neighborhood in Portsmouth -- seems very much on the low side to me. We have a higher annual income than in their example, but it does seem like tax burden would be pretty light.
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Old 12-14-2011, 01:06 PM
 
56,533 posts, read 80,824,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jm02 View Post
Here's a ranking of states by overall tax burden: TAX BURDEN BY STATE.

Of the three states with the lowest burden, Alaska is a consistently red state, New Hampshire is a swing state and Delaware is consistently blue. I'll go with Delaware on this one.
Here's personal income averages by state: Per Capita Personal Income by State — Infoplease.com

and a good website for Upstate NY housing: Upstate New York Real Estate
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Old 12-14-2011, 03:51 PM
 
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
9,422 posts, read 18,316,727 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorjef View Post
I was reading an article in the barbershop earlier this morning that talked up Portsmouth, NH as a great place to live -- small and manageable but unusually sophisticated for its size. They also stated that some of the surrounding suburbs would have even cheaper property taxes. They gave an estimated annual tax burden of about $3,600 for a retired couple with an annual income of $60,000 and a $225,000 home. I wonder if that's a reasonable estimate for the cost of a nice 3 bedrm-2 bath-2 car garage house in a good neighborhood in Portsmouth -- seems very much on the low side to me. We have a higher annual income than in their example, but it does seem like tax burden would be pretty light.
Portsmouth is an exceptional nice little city, very vibrant and youthful with a beautiful harbor and attractive coastline nearby in Maine, NH, & Mass. Great restaurants, coffee shops, and pubs there and very walkable. Has more to do than many cities 5 times its size and definitely a progressive vibe to it. Not sure what the tax burdens are in surrounding towns, but Portsmouth itself is not very cheap. Perhaps towns like Newington, North Hampton, Greenland, and Stratham may have a lower tax burden as they have quite a bit of retail. I know towns in NH that have retail shopping strips (which are many due to shoppers from Mass and having no sales tax) tend to have a lower tax burden.
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:15 PM
 
Location: Center City
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Originally Posted by Verseau View Post
It's not a question of being Republican; it's a question of being socially conservative. Most NH Republicans are not very conservative on social issues.

Most counties in NH are rural. Cos County is no more socially conservative than any other part of the state, and in fact it's more Democratic-voting than about half of the counties in NH.

Bush's win in 2000 had everything to do with the state's economic leanings and nothing to do with its social leanings (besides, Bush won by a margin of 1.27%, which is less than the 3.90% received by Ralph Nader). The link you provided suggests that NH has a lower tax burden than DE, and to suggest that NH isn't as socially liberal as DE is simply false.

Civil unions are, in principle, not the same as same sex marriage. The rejection of this "separate but equal" philosophy is indicative of the socially liberal atmosphere in the state. Now, I'm not trying to say that NH is more socially liberal overall than DE (for one thing, we don't have medical marijuana yet), but they are at least on equal footing.

The number of Republicans and Democrats in state government is a very poor indicator of a state's social policies. If that were the case, then West Virginia's legislature would be one of the most socially liberal in the country! Do you think that Arkansas is more socially liberal than NH too?
Verseau - Based on the link I provided earlier in this thread, there are five states with the lowest tax burden: Alaska, New Hampshire, Delaware, Tennessee and Alabama. Of those five, NH and DE are clearly the more socially liberal (if someone has reasonable arguments for the other three, please offer them). Given the premise of this thread, that makes it a choice between NH and DE.

In choosing between the two, you heavily weigh the difference between civil unions and marriage. In a country where just a handful of states support either, there is little difference to most people. For those who do, however, the symbolism of these differences can be important. I heavily weigh who the people of a state freely elect to represent them - the party associated with socially liberal or conservative policies.

I don't tend to get too invested in arguments of a hair splitting nature. Given this is all subjective, I can respect your choice and the reasons for it without agreeing with you.

Regards -- jm02
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Old 12-15-2011, 06:37 AM
 
Location: Greenville, Delaware
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So what would be the places in NH that are relatively more urban/sophisticated while having the best tax rates relative to other towns in the state?

In DE the most socially and politically progressive area of the state has the highest property taxes, but these are still so low that they are much better than property taxes in any surrounding states.
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Old 12-15-2011, 06:40 AM
 
Location: Greenville, Delaware
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Oh, a slight digression since Coos Co. got mentioned. One of my favorite poems by Robt Frost: The Witch of Coos - Robert Frost
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:35 AM
 
Location: New Hampshire
2,257 posts, read 6,968,983 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jm02 View Post
Verseau - Based on the link I provided earlier in this thread, there are five states with the lowest tax burden: Alaska, New Hampshire, Delaware, Tennessee and Alabama. Of those five, NH and DE are clearly the more socially liberal (if someone has reasonable arguments for the other three, please offer them). Given the premise of this thread, that makes it a choice between NH and DE.

In choosing between the two, you heavily weigh the difference between civil unions and marriage. In a country where just a handful of states support either, there is little difference to most people. For those who do, however, the symbolism of these differences can be important. I heavily weigh who the people of a state freely elect to represent them - the party associated with socially liberal or conservative policies.
I think maybe I wasn't really clear in my initial post. I wasn't trying to make a decision between NH and DE by suggesting that NH was more socially liberal, but rather that both states are at least equal in this regard. Besides, the OP already lives in DE, and NH's average personal tax burden is a full 1.1% lower, so I don't see any reason to write it off.

As I pointed out earlier, partisan affiliations in state government are a very poor indicator of a state's social policies (almost all of NH's Republicans are more socially liberal than the Democrats in the WV and AR state legislatures, I can assure you that). People in NH vote for Republicans precisely because they want to keep their taxes low, not because they favor any socially conservative policies. Rather than looking at red or blue, just look at the social policies themselves. I cited gay marriage as an example, not to suggest that NH is really more socially liberal than DE, but rather to show that it is at least on equal footing.

I don't think this qualifies as an "argument," more of a mutual misunderstanding?
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:11 AM
 
Location: New Hampshire
2,257 posts, read 6,968,983 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorjef View Post
I was reading an article in the barbershop earlier this morning that talked up Portsmouth, NH as a great place to live -- small and manageable but unusually sophisticated for its size. They also stated that some of the surrounding suburbs would have even cheaper property taxes. They gave an estimated annual tax burden of about $3,600 for a retired couple with an annual income of $60,000 and a $225,000 home. I wonder if that's a reasonable estimate for the cost of a nice 3 bedrm-2 bath-2 car garage house in a good neighborhood in Portsmouth -- seems very much on the low side to me. We have a higher annual income than in their example, but it does seem like tax burden would be pretty light.
Portsmouth is an awesome little city. Incredibly historic, beautiful, walkable, full of successful local businesses, and definitely sophisticated.

The property taxes in Portsmouth are definitely lower than the state average, and the surrounding towns have some of the lowest property taxes in the state. But don't let this fool you... these taxes are low for a reason. These towns in the Seacoast Region have some of the highest median property values in the state. Some of the Portsmouth "suburbs" like Rye and New Castle are full of oceanfront properties.

Portsmouth isn't quite as expensive as the surrounding towns, but $225,000 won't go really far. Just taking a quick look at what's on the market, this seems to be the best house in that price range. There are a couple other 3br-2baths for the same price with a tiny bit more square footage, but they lack the 2-car garage, have higher taxes, and need even more updating. There are no "bad" neighborhoods in Portsmouth, but that house is right on busy Route 1.

FWIW, here's a map I made of the tax rates in NH by town. Just bear in mind that the property values generally go down the farther north you go (and, to a lesser extent, west).

Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorjef View Post
So what would be the places in NH that are relatively more urban/sophisticated while having the best tax rates relative to other towns in the state?
Honestly, Portsmouth is probably the best choice. There are a few smaller college towns that are sophisticated and very walkable, but they either have very high property taxes (Durham, Keene), or the property values are very high (Hanover). If you're looking for pure urbanness, you can find lower taxes in our largest cities (Manchester, Nashua), but how "sophisticated" these cities are is debatable.
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Greenville, Delaware
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Thanks, Verseau, for all your effort! Yeah, I wouldn't have expected to get much for 225K. Our current house in DE cost more than twice that, though it's largely a matter of our location rather than what most people would see as value for money. The house would cost much less if transferred to other less posh and pricey neighborhoods. Still, the little house you found for 225K doesn't impress me as bad and gives me hope that for 450K one might find a very nice house in Portsmouth.
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