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Old 09-20-2009, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Dayton, OH/Portland, OR
398 posts, read 1,163,308 times
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I think that the cost of living in general is what determines how affordable a place is. For instance, I'm in Dayton, OH right now. It's the cheapest most affordable place I've ever lived in. However, everywhere you turn there is a tax on something - I pay State Income Tax, City Income Tax (both in the city I work in and the city I live in), I pay City Tax in the city I live in, I pay a School District Tax, I pay the city Property Taxes on the house I own, and I pay a sales tax on everything I buy. BUT... it's still **WAY** more affordable than living in Portland, OR. W--A--Y more affordable. Like blows it out of the water more affordable. And in Portland all I paid was State Income Tax. That was it. Then again, I didn't own a house. Then again, I couldn't afford to!
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Old 09-20-2009, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Tampa
3,981 posts, read 9,432,583 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malachai23 View Post
I think that the cost of living in general is what determines how affordable a place is. For instance, I'm in Dayton, OH right now. It's the cheapest most affordable place I've ever lived in. However, everywhere you turn there is a tax on something - I pay State Income Tax, City Income Tax (both in the city I work in and the city I live in), I pay City Tax in the city I live in, I pay a School District Tax, I pay the city Property Taxes on the house I own, and I pay a sales tax on everything I buy. BUT... it's still **WAY** more affordable than living in Portland, OR. W--A--Y more affordable. Like blows it out of the water more affordable. And in Portland all I paid was State Income Tax. That was it. Then again, I didn't own a house. Then again, I couldn't afford to!
But as you say, the COL is way different


what about when housing/food/etc is the same?
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Old 09-20-2009, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Dayton, OH/Portland, OR
398 posts, read 1,163,308 times
Reputation: 207
Oh yes - forgot to address groceries - In Oregon they are double to triple what they are here in Ohio. And houses, I'd say also about triple, maybe even quadruple. Nope, not exaggerating.

So even though both Oregon and Ohio have State Income Tax, and even though Ohio has many more taxes than Oregon, Ohio is MUCH more affordable.

I also lived in Washington State, where there is no State Income Tax. But COL is so darn high in the Seattle area (not to mention the high Sales Tax and Car Tax) that the lack of Income Tax was simply a moot point.
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Old 09-20-2009, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Germantown, MD
1,359 posts, read 3,278,483 times
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Comparing state income taxes directly sometimes is misleading. States make their money a lot of other ways and income brackets can make a huge difference. I think cost-of-living is the nest comparison. Here in the so-called "PRM (People's Republic of Maryland)" there's a relatively moderate income tax of 5.5% for upper income brackets and 2.0% for lower income brackets, but this state takes you to the cleaners for nearly everything else. The sales tax was just raised to 6% (which makes it nearly impossible to calculate in my head unlike the previous 5%), the gas tax is relatively high at 23.5cpg, there's a new first-in-country millionaire tax, and the state even wanted to have a computer services tax. Of course whatever shillings you have left are taken by the counties with their extremely high property taxes.
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Lakeland, Florida
6,973 posts, read 12,496,612 times
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I have lived in states with income tax and sales tax such as Massachusetts. I live in Oregon and there is no sales tax, the income tax is 9% with an added 1% in Portland. It is a huge chunk of income that is taxed to say the least. The state does not fund its Police or its schools anywhere near properly. So much disgust with the schools has forced many in Portland to move into Washington State.

I am not completely sure that states that depend on one source of revenue is the right choice to go. I use to but not after seeing how a state operates on one very high tax. It is a very unfair method of collecting revenue at least here, and the severe lack of services shows up daily. No money to clear ice off roads, always an excuse as to why so many mentally ill and homeless plague this State and city. No money to provide services or so the news reports. And again the constant notices of not being able to fund the schools.

I found Massachusetts with both type taxes though an expensive state, seemed to operate more responsibly. Schools, police depts are funded at least to the extent they are. Highways were cleared in Winter. There was not all this mentally ill and homeless, wandering the streets to the extent they are here in Oregon. There is a state imposed Health Insurance Plan in Mass. There is a necessity for taxes whether anyone thinks so or not. If not you get the condition some of the various states seem to find themselves in.

There just is not enough sources of revenue to keep some states financially reponsible. I found Oregon seriously needs to lower its income tax and impose a 5% sales tax. It would lessen the burden of ones income being hit so hard, and would bring in more revenue from everyone both resident and visitor thru sales taxes.

To the OP I would certainly consider all options and theories, on what is better in the way states collect their revenue thru these type taxes. It is definitely a barometer as to where one should live in America. I would never again live in a state that is taxing my income at 10%. and being so stupidly told. "Well we don't have a sales tax so this way is better". I have heard that over and over in Oregon.

Good Luck.
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:49 PM
 
Location: NJ
12,284 posts, read 31,780,394 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpterp View Post
Comparing state income taxes directly sometimes is misleading. States make their money a lot of other ways and income brackets can make a huge difference. I think cost-of-living is the nest comparison. Here in the so-called "PRM (People's Republic of Maryland)" there's a relatively moderate income tax of 5.5% for upper income brackets and 2.0% for lower income brackets, but this state takes you to the cleaners for nearly everything else. The sales tax was just raised to 6% (which makes it nearly impossible to calculate in my head unlike the previous 5%), the gas tax is relatively high at 23.5cpg, there's a new first-in-country millionaire tax, and the state even wanted to have a computer services tax. Of course whatever shillings you have left are taken by the counties with their extremely high property taxes.
i thought generally MD had pretty low prop taxes?
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Old 09-22-2009, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Jersey City
6,489 posts, read 16,166,684 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tahiti View Post
i thought generally MD had pretty low prop taxes?
Compared to New Jersey...
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:18 PM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
13,856 posts, read 22,979,387 times
Reputation: 6687
I believe Alaska doesn't have an income tax or sales tax. South Dakota and Wyoming's sales taxes is 4% I think, which isn't too bad.

Alaska and South Dakota come out fairly high for property tax, but Wyoming comes out 41st in rate indicating a low rate. Wyoming is said to be the least taxed state when considering taxes overall. (This info dates from 2005 though)

Property taxes: Where does your state rank? - MSN Money

Illinois, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Vermont, and Wisconsin seem to be the highest in property tax. Louisiana is listed as the lowest with Alabama and West Virginia also listed as quite low.
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Old 09-23-2009, 08:57 AM
 
Location: NJ
12,284 posts, read 31,780,394 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lammius View Post
Compared to New Jersey...
Compared to most places! My ancedotal evidence of Mont. County (my guess one of the most expensive counties in the state), nearly $1M house, taxes under $4K....seems low to me.
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Old 09-23-2009, 09:31 AM
 
Location: 3219'03.7"N 10643'55.9"W
8,115 posts, read 17,335,259 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tahiti View Post
Compared to most places! My ancedotal evidence of Mont. County (my guess one of the most expensive counties in the state), nearly $1M house, taxes under $4K....seems low to me.
On this chart, Montgomery County MD is ranked # 88 in the nation, out of over 3,000 counties and independent cities:
The Tax Foundation - Property Taxes on Owner-Occupied Housing, by County, 2005 - 2008, Ranked by Property Taxes Paid.

As a percentage of value, however, Montgomery MD is ranked only #516:
The Tax Foundation - Property Taxes on Owner-Occupied Housing by County, 2005 - 2008, Ranked by Taxes as Percentage of Home Value

I would argue that this might be the better barometer of gauging the burden of property taxation. If you do, then New York, not New Jersey, becomes the highest state when it comes to property taxes. Using this same chart, it becomes clear that two other states, Texas and Illinois, have very high mil rates.

Finally, state totals: http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/1913.html.
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