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Old 03-02-2018, 09:31 AM
 
Location: plano
6,564 posts, read 8,091,974 times
Reputation: 5797

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Ive been investigating impacts of a move from Plano Texas to several other cites. I am using a tool that compares cost of living one town or city vs another. The biggest factor is differences of course is housing cost. The tool I have been using cites the difference in housing cost one city vs another, which makes sense from my review using realtor. com. However, I can not tell if the tool I am using takes taxes into account. By that I mean state and local taxes, predominately property and income tax if they have income taxes.

Anyone else done the same thing? Do you believe a tool shows cost of living differences taking into account property tax differences as well as income taxes? I am not convinced the tool I am using does so but it is not explicitly stated for me to be sure and the differences in say Texas and Tennessee are huge in terms of property taxes on a home but do not seem taken into account in the COL I get. Also comparing Texas to Arkansas which has a pretty high property tax for me, does not seem accounted for in the tool. I hesitate to mention the tool though I do not think its a competitor with a tool like Realtor .com. If cleared to name the tool I will. It is a tool that produces lists of best cities for different things.
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Old 03-02-2018, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Chibostoncaliseattle
2,082 posts, read 1,099,257 times
Reputation: 1846
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnhw2 View Post
Ive been investigating impacts of a move from Plano Texas to several other cites. I am using a tool that compares cost of living one town or city vs another. The biggest factor is differences of course is housing cost. The tool I have been using cites the difference in housing cost one city vs another, which makes sense from my review using realtor. com. However, I can not tell if the tool I am using takes taxes into account. By that I mean state and local taxes, predominately property and income tax if they have income taxes.

Anyone else done the same thing? Do you believe a tool shows cost of living differences taking into account property tax differences as well as income taxes? I am not convinced the tool I am using does so but it is not explicitly stated for me to be sure and the differences in say Texas and Tennessee are huge in terms of property taxes on a home but do not seem taken into account in the COL I get. Also comparing Texas to Arkansas which has a pretty high property tax for me, does not seem accounted for in the tool. I hesitate to mention the tool though I do not think its a competitor with a tool like Realtor .com. If cleared to name the tool I will. It is a tool that produces lists of best cities for different things.
I leverage the tool quite often. Between two regions of the country, of course, it's only truly applicable if it has a weighted income dynamic. But, generally the tools provide the income level you'd need to live the same life in both. I do notice some inconsitencies in data output, especially as it relates to taxes etc. so I wouldn't trust it's total accuracy as much as I'd use it as a guideline.
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Old 03-02-2018, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Mars City
5,091 posts, read 2,136,536 times
Reputation: 7505
I'm not sure about that tool, but it's not that hard to compare cost of living. Just make a table with the various costs (rent/mortage, electricity, gas, water, vehicle registration, vehicle renewal, etc) and fill in the values of where you are currently. After you've selected cities to move to, start gathering information for the same costs there. I'm not sure I'd trust automatic information from some site/tool, so that's why I'd get the information personally.

The other important factors are income, as jobs usually pay different in different areas. Then factor in income tax. TX is awesome in not having it, but most states do, and it sucks away money that should be in your pocket.

Then total the net differences. Of course, costs aren't the only factor. Between two cities, you might like overall the city that costs a little more.

Also, be very wary of tools and lists of "best cities". They are very suspect, and controlled by money interests and PR. It's a form of advertising, and the results are heavily swayed by "interests". I moved to one of those "best cities" and have regretted it since. Still trying to get away. Sometimes cities get swamped too by a huge influx of "fans", and the city quality and character drops as the cities struggle to keep up with all the new residents. I no longer see my city on these kinds of radars, not surprisingly. It's far better to do your own research and look for the more obscure locations, for the long haul.
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Old 03-02-2018, 11:14 AM
 
Location: plano
6,564 posts, read 8,091,974 times
Reputation: 5797
Quote:
Originally Posted by mwj119 View Post
I leverage the tool quite often. Between two regions of the country, of course, it's only truly applicable if it has a weighted income dynamic. But, generally the tools provide the income level you'd need to live the same life in both. I do notice some inconsitencies in data output, especially as it relates to taxes etc. so I wouldn't trust it's total accuracy as much as I'd use it as a guideline.
Thanks I concur. It doesnt have the inputs it needs to compare impacts of state in come tax. It does have the property tax data I believe but it is not clear to me that impact is reflected in cost of living differences. I have used a calcuator for both property taxes and income taxes for my situation for any locations that passed through my screening using the guideline tools as you suggested.
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Old 03-04-2018, 07:38 PM
 
Location: Austin
596 posts, read 675,495 times
Reputation: 1091
Maybe this site might help. I stumbled across this website recently that approximates not only federal, state, and local income taxes but also gives estimates for sales and property taxes. I thought maybe it might be helpful to you when comparing different cities.

https://smartasset.com/taxes/income-taxes

I don't think this is a competing site but if the link gets deleted, message me and I'll send you the link that way.
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Old 03-04-2018, 08:25 PM
 
56,511 posts, read 80,803,243 times
Reputation: 12480
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricNorthman View Post
Maybe this site might help. I stumbled across this website recently that approximates not only federal, state, and local income taxes but also gives estimates for sales and property taxes. I thought maybe it might be helpful to you when comparing different cities.

https://smartasset.com/taxes/income-taxes

I don't think this is a competing site but if the link gets deleted, message me and I'll send you the link that way.
Even with this site, it estimates property taxes is a median based off of a $250,000 property. There are areas where the median is much lower, even in the Northeast. So, that would be something to keep in mind with that calculator. Let alone personal aspects in regards to property tax exemptions.

Besides that, everything else seems to be pretty cut and dry.
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