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Old 09-25-2011, 05:10 PM
Status: "I think NWA is the place for me!!" (set 4 days ago)
 
730 posts, read 578,583 times
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Question SC Taxes(Greenville County)

I was just looking at the tax website for SC. Looks like sales tax is apprx. 6% and you do not have taxes on groceries, correct?
Looks like vehicle reg. is inexpensive(apprx. $40?), but you pay property taxes every year, which seems to be high.(on a $10,000 vehicle/$180.00)
I'm having a hard time figuring out property taxes on homes. If your home is valued at $100,000, taxes would be apprx. how much? You get exemptions if you're over 65?
You have state income tax, but that seems to be low compared to other states.
One more question: Utilities. on an average what would you say your electric bill averages say 1500 sq ft. house or 1700 sq ft.? Do you know what the KWH price is? in your opinion, do you think utilities over all are high there?
I appreciate any ones help.
I'm trying to decide between there and Knoxville, tn to move next year! Thank you.
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Old 09-25-2011, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Columbus, OH
344 posts, read 400,247 times
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I can answer some but not all of your questions. Sales tax is somewhere around 6%, and there is no tax on groceries unless it is something made fresh (bakery, subs, etc). Property taxes on cars here is bad. You pay approximately $25 per year for your tag decal, and then the tax is determined by the value of your car. Taxes for our 2010 Honda (valued at $15-17K) were $327 this year. Last year they were $437, but we were in Spartanburg County at the time, and we found their tax rate to be a little higher. There is a $300 cap on sales tax when you buy a car in SC, so that gives you a little break when you make a car purchase- but they still get you on those yearly property taxes. We just bought a 2011 minivan valued around 30K- I am scared to see what our tax bill will be on that one next year!!

We have a 1700-1800 sq ft house, and our highest utility bill for this year was $350 (peak summer heat, which was extra bad this summer)- we have Greer CPW because we are in the city of Greer, but most of the Greenville area has Duke Energy. CPW's bill is all inclusive- water, sewer, gas, electric, trash, etc. If you have Duke Energy, they only cover electric, so you'd have separate bills for all the other utilities and services. In the winter our bill is in the $150-$175 range.

State income tax seems reasonable to us, but I don't have any statistics on actual rates. We researched it a bit when we considered moving to CO, and SC seemed low to average to us. We have also lived in FL and VA. FL had no state income tax and we didn't see a huge difference between SC and VA.

My in-laws live in Knoxville, TN. They have no state income tax, but their sales tax is a good bit higher (10%?). You pay a fee when you first register your car there, but no yearly property taxes on your car like here in SC. You do pay the full sales tax when you buy a car there, though.

Just my two cents between the two places- I very much prefer Greenville to Knoxville. There are areas of Knoxville I wouldn't mind living in, but overall I would choose Greenville hands down. The mtns in TN are very pretty, but in Greenville you have easy access to mtns and you are only 3-5 hours to the beach, depending on which beach you choose to go to. Greenville just has a lot more to offer, as far as what our family likes. We like diverse dining choices, and we love having a Costco and Trader Joe's (Knoxville has neither of those), and there are a lot of great retail, recreation, and arts/entertainment choices. I know you didn't ask for any opinions on that stuff, but I thought I'd give my opinion since I have experience with both places.

Good luck with your choice!
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Old 09-25-2011, 07:43 PM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
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I lived in TN (Chattanooga) for a number of years prior to moving to Greenville, SC. My wife and I visited Knoxville several times.

I actually prefer TN for several reasons (some Fit mentioned): no state income tax and no property/ad-valorem tax on autos (I despise this annual tax here). Statewide tobacco ban (this was great - no tobacco ban in SC).

Cons for TN: high sales tax on everything - 9.5% in Chattanooga when I moved. Significant sales taxes on autos (see Fit's comments above). Certain counties in TN require annual emissions testing (but this fee was very cheap - I have no idea why SC does not this - there are some junky cars here).

Couple of corrections to Fit's statements: Costco is coming to Knoxville in 2013. In addition, Trader Joe's, Publix, and Whole Foods are all planning to enter the Knoxville market (opening 2012, July 2012, and 2013, respectively). Exciting times.

Interestingly, TN state law does not allow wine sales in grocery stores. So, the above new stores will only be allowed to sell beer. Whole Foods in Chattanooga actually has an adjacent wine store with separate, dedicated entrance - kind of silly - this law needs to be changed. Wine prices in TN are higher than SC.

Last edited by drfranklin; 09-25-2011 at 07:53 PM..
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Old 09-25-2011, 07:54 PM
 
Location: Columbus, OH
344 posts, read 400,247 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drfranklin View Post
Certain counties in TN require annual emissions testing (but this fee is very cheap - I have no idea why SC does not this - there are some junky cars here).
You are SO right- SC definitely needs some sort of emissions testing/inspections. There are way too many cars on the road here that shouldn't be. I remember when I was younger that we had inspections, but they were a joke. When we lived in Northern VA they had super strict emissions testing and car inspections- they were a bit over the top, in my opinion, but we also didn't have junky fuming cars on the roads either.
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Old 09-25-2011, 09:12 PM
Status: "I think NWA is the place for me!!" (set 4 days ago)
 
730 posts, read 578,583 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drfranklin View Post
I lived in TN (Chattanooga) for a number of years prior to moving to Greenville, SC. My wife and I visited Knoxville several times.

I actually prefer TN for several reasons (some Fit mentioned): no state income tax and no property/ad-valorem tax on autos (I despise this annual tax here). Statewide tobacco ban (this was great - no tobacco ban in SC).

Cons for TN: high sales tax on everything - 9.5% in Chattanooga when I moved. Significant sales taxes on autos (see Fit's comments above). Certain counties in TN require annual emissions testing (but this fee was very cheap - I have no idea why SC does not this - there are some junky cars here).

Couple of corrections to Fit's statements: Costco is coming to Knoxville in 2013. In addition, Trader Joe's, Publix, and Whole Foods are all planning to enter the Knoxville market (opening 2012, July 2012, and 2013, respectively). Exciting times.

Interestingly, TN state law does not allow wine sales in grocery stores. So, the above new stores will only be allowed to sell beer. Whole Foods in Chattanooga actually has an adjacent wine store with separate, dedicated entrance - kind of silly - this law needs to be changed. Wine prices in TN are higher than SC.
Thanks!
What about the humidity & weather in general, do you think TN or SC is better, or are they both about the same?
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Old 09-25-2011, 09:18 PM
Status: "I think NWA is the place for me!!" (set 4 days ago)
 
730 posts, read 578,583 times
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Question TN vs S.C.!

We've been to TN many times & were almost sold on it, then I was talking to a woman that lives there & hates it & she said she was moving to Greer, SC, so I started checking it out & it looks nice. So I decided to do some research. It seems like no matter where you live they get you one way or another with the COL. Ones cheaper on something, then they get you on something else. Homes look very inexpensive in Greer from what I've seen. And from how I figured it, property taxes seem low..
What about the air quality in SC? I've heard that Knoxville can be really bad. We plan on moving next July 2012, so we really need to make up our mind fast!
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Old 09-25-2011, 09:34 PM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
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Based on my experience (and average temps), Knoxville is slightly "cooler" in the summer and a little colder in the winter. Knoxville averages more snow (11.5 inches vs. 6.3 inches) in the winter but in recent years has not seen much.

Interestingly, Knoxville's elevation is 886 feet and Greenville, SC's elevation is 966 feet. Summer humidity is the same (high) at both locations and can be stifling during July and August.

Since Knoxville is west of the Apps, it's not subject to Wedge/CAD winter weather (as Greenville is). This weather phenomenon can produce crippling ice storms - Greenville has had several in the past 5+ years.
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Old 09-26-2011, 06:30 AM
 
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I'll throw my hat in on some values. We moved here from Orlando which has no state sales tax nor vehicle property tax, and here in SC the combination of our home property tax, vehicle property tax, AND state income tax combined is less than JUST the home property tax of our florida house and that house was quite a lot smaller (both lot size and house size) than our SC house, so it definitely 'evened out'. And on a similar note our house itself was cheaper than our FL house (before the crash) for a larger house with a bigger lot and the house/lot is quite a lot nicer too.

Our highest electric bill this summer was ~$240 for 2700 sqft. We also had a ~$25 gas bill making the total energy bill around $265. Usually it flips the other way in the dead of winter, $200 or so for gas and $50 for electricity, and then in spring/fall it averages around $175.

Food and gas here are much cheaper than a lot of the country. Gas here right now is $2.99 and it's still above $3.40 in FL, which is a massive monthly price difference depending on how much you drive.

Anyway, just some food for thought. Aside from that, I love the weather here year round and just love the area in general.
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Old 09-26-2011, 06:44 AM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
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Crack makes some good points. Additional information:

TN's property taxes are quite low - especially for being a state without a an income tax. I recall the property taxes being just as low as its neighbor GA (which has a state income tax). Further, gas prices are quite cheap in TN - however, not as cheap as Upstate SC. Greenville consistently has the lowest gas prices in the nation.

TN is quite compelling for its low cost of living - especially if your in the upper income brackets. The state-local tax burden for TN ranks 47 according to the Tax Foundation. SC ranks 43.

One other con for TN: it's a land-locked state and quite a distance to the Gulf beaches.
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Old 09-26-2011, 06:46 AM
 
Location: Somewhere, out there
2,153 posts, read 2,439,945 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 370z View Post
We've been to TN many times & were almost sold on it, then I was talking to a woman that lives there & hates it & she said she was moving to Greer, SC, so I started checking it out & it looks nice. So I decided to do some research. It seems like no matter where you live they get you one way or another with the COL. Ones cheaper on something, then they get you on something else. Homes look very inexpensive in Greer from what I've seen. And from how I figured it, property taxes seem low..
What about the air quality in SC? I've heard that Knoxville can be really bad. We plan on moving next July 2012, so we really need to make up our mind fast!
Honestly, you are going to find people who hate Greer/SC too. Just like I HATE Miami, there are so many people that just love it. Just because you spoke to one person in TN that hated it, but you yourself were almost sold on it, one person's opinion wouldn't sway me. It's good you are doing your research, and you should definitely come here and see the area for yourself. Many people moved here from elsewhere for the wrong reasons thinking the cost of living was cheaper here, homes were cheaper, taxes were cheaper, etc and while those are some reasons you may consider moving to a particular area from another, they surely aren't what makes life good living on a daily basis. Job availability for you, job location, what you expect from a community, and other daily life issues should be looked at as well.

Taxes in Greer are definitely lower than other areas, but being in the City of Greer vs outside the city limits make a difference as well. It also makes a difference on your utility bill too, though not a lot.

Having recently moved here I thought I did all my investigating pretty well. What we didn't realize with DH's job was moving here, vs SOFLA, the pay cut he got was very large, and along with the state taxes, it's really cut in to his take home big time, like over $16K Food costs are more here than SOFLA too. Cost of utilites vs SOFLA are higher here as well but our bills are lower here since we don't have to crank the A/C 10 months a year.

When we were purchasing this home I called CPW to see what the prior owners bill was, I about died! It had been $440 - this was for two elderly people living here. Their average bill was $220 - almost didn't close. Here's a link to that thread, but there are others regarding this issue. Ridiculous Electric Bill???

It would benefit you to search the GSP thread, even if you search CPW you'll find a wealth of information.

http://www.city-data.com/forum/searc...rchid=32029432

Don't jump the gun and choose Greer over TN until you've done the same research, or more about this area and come to visit. Many have made a move that wasn't right for them due to not doing their homework. You don't want to make that type of mistake, it can be not only costly, but exhausting and miserable for everyone involved.
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