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Old 11-26-2013, 12:34 AM
 
Location: Caribou, Me.
5,479 posts, read 3,905,816 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bangorme View Post
Just wanted to give you an suggestion that you might want to add to your analysis. I live in one of the towns surrounding Bangor. My property taxes are almost $4,000 a year on a house valued at $218,000. If I lived in Bangor, the taxes would be higher. But here's the thing, if I lived in Caribou they could be higher. If you live in a poor town, a $200,000 house is going to pay much higher property taxes. I lived in Caribou about six years ago in a $150,000 home and was shocked at the property taxes.

So, my point is that just because home values are lower here, doesn't mean you are going to pay less property taxes. Again, I can't speak to your specific town in CT, but it is just something to watch for.
But there is a good chance that if you live in a poorer town, your house will be assessed at a lower value. (If i picked up my house and moved it to Bangor its assessed value would probably double).
I'm surprised you found Caribou taxes high; based on what you're paying now I would say your taxes probably wouldn't be much different if your house were in Caribou. (I live in Caribou and while my house value is about half of yours, so are my taxes).
I do agree with you that wealthier towns often have a larger pool of taxable entities to tax. The best thing is when there is a big mill or factory in town.
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Old 11-26-2013, 08:38 AM
 
161 posts, read 354,096 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuffler View Post
The bottom line: it's all relative but really comes down to where you are moving from. IF you are coming to Maine from, say, some of the Southern states, you may find it more of a lateral move in a financial respect. If, however, you are moving to Maine from my state of CT, you'll be giving yourself quite a raise.

Rome
This is fairly spot on. Currently we own homes in both Connecticut and in Maine. Exact same square footage and acreage. The home in Maine is however right on the water. My property taxes are approximately 50% less in Maine.

However one must look at the bundle of services one receives with those taxes. In Connecticut we get trash pick up, in Maine we do not. There are also other services we get in Connecticut or get more of in Connecticut than in Maine.

Another point is what other costs besides taxes are you facing. Essentially the cost of living, particularly food is quite a bit cheaper in Maine than Connecticut. Our grocery bill for the months we are in Maine is actually significantly cheaper than in Connecticut.

Alan
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:08 AM
 
Location: On a Slow-Sinking Granite Rock Up North
3,637 posts, read 5,397,420 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flycessna View Post
taxes are subjective and a product of lifestyle.. I would look at my own position where I am living now and then try and make the best comparison I can with respect to ALL taxes... Income, sales, (property??) gas, ect. You might find your taxes do not change much. But, there are other statistics that I might consider also in addition to taxes. I have found pretty consistently the Maine is one of the more expensive places to live when compared to pretty much any of the places I have lived and or travelled too. Our food is more expensive, our gas is more expensive and despite record housing prices south of the border (mass) I have routinely found that the income is so much lower here it outweighs any advantages in the drop in housing costs not to mention quality housing in a good location will still cost plenty in Maine. When I my folks lived in Mass even going to the dentist was more expensive here! And maybe all of this IS because of the states overall tax burden trickling down??

If there is a particular lifestyle you want to afford your self that money can't buy, low crime, slower pace, closer the mountains ect.. then go for it but don't be fooled into thinking your going come to Maine and live a better quality of life monetarily..
Good points. Many times people move here with income from sources other than a job they get here. For them, it's just dandy and usually a good bargain. For those who have to take a cut in pay and/or benefits (often a sizable one) from a job they just left in another state, it's an entirely different story.

Some people get angry not because of "tribal" knowledge. They get angry because that kind of flippant dismissal of very real concerns is insulting to begin with. Not everyone's picture is so rosy and it shouldn't be trivialized by some idyllic view of "cheap" living in quaint Maine.

Each situation is entirely different. Each town is entirely different. Each property tax rate is entirely different, and each towns' services are entirely different. I live in a suburb that has nearly the same tax rate that the city of Bangor has. I can't move. No, really, not all of us can just up and leave (unless we enjoy being irresponsible louts who just walk away from our responsibilities and let others pay for them).

I'm sucking it up and dealing with a choice I thought was the right one 15 years ago. So be it.

The bottom line is that people need to do long hard research before they up and move up here.

They need to know precisely what their income will be, what the tax rate for the town they wish to move to is, what services the town offers and if those are what they want, what they are looking for as a way of life; and most especially, that ignorance is not bliss. Do the groundwork and you won't have anything to complain about once you get up here.

It's the same way for anyone moving anywhere not just Maine.
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:26 AM
 
Location: On a Slow-Sinking Granite Rock Up North
3,637 posts, read 5,397,420 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADSLubec View Post
This is fairly spot on. Currently we own homes in both Connecticut and in Maine. Exact same square footage and acreage. The home in Maine is however right on the water. My property taxes are approximately 50% less in Maine.

However one must look at the bundle of services one receives with those taxes. In Connecticut we get trash pick up, in Maine we do not. There are also other services we get in Connecticut or get more of in Connecticut than in Maine.

Another point is what other costs besides taxes are you facing. Essentially the cost of living, particularly food is quite a bit cheaper in Maine than Connecticut. Our grocery bill for the months we are in Maine is actually significantly cheaper than in Connecticut.

Alan
Are you employed in Maine or CT? Retired? Young children or grown and flown the coop? What other services in general does the state of CT have vs. the state of Maine? Do they have better paying jobs and less workers who qualify for some sort of subsidy in order to pay the rent or more?

It's all in the big picture to me.

This is a good example of needing to do research before moving anywhere. When we traveled to S. Carolina this year, I found gas and groceries to be significantly cheaper there than in Maine. The electric bill of the house we stayed at was also significantly lower than mine. Do I want to live in a place where my house has a really good chance of being blown down every other year? Probably not.

I have no idea what the property taxes were but I imagine they were more since it was on the water.

It's all subjective. Careful research (preferably without wearing rose-colored glasses) is often the best thing a person can do for themselves before they move up here (or anywhere else for that matter).
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,677 posts, read 49,423,020 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reloop View Post
Good points. Many times people move here with income from sources other than a job they get here. For them, it's just dandy and usually a good bargain. For those who have to take a cut in pay and/or benefits (often a sizable one) from a job they just left in another state, it's an entirely different story.
You are right.

A recent article in the BDN, was quoting the US Census, talking about how many young adults leave Maine. The generally agreed reason is the lack of jobs. At the same time, older adults migrate to Maine. People migrating here about equal the number of people leaving, so Maine's over-all population number stays the same.

We see many people leaving Maine, nearly always because of the lack of employment. Maine has had a long term depressed economy. I think we all agree of that.

So who is set to take advantage of a depressed economy, and low Cost-Of-Living? Seniors with pensions, or large portfolios, that is exactly who.

Maine's economy is primarily tourism. A growing part of that 'tourism' is retirees coming here to spend their pensions, living in Maine.
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:34 PM
 
18,347 posts, read 23,510,540 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenGene View Post
Coming from Virginia, we'll see a net decrease in our combined taxes - sales, income, property, etc. (not as dramatic a difference as it would be coming from CT). One tax that could and probably will go up for us is property tax.

Using the most recent Estimated Full Value Tax Rates chart from the Maine Revenue Services that I could find (it goes up to 2011), if we buy a property in Maine that is appraised at the same dollar amount as the property we have now in Virginia, we'd pay about $300 more per year. This is not a deal-breaker by any means. But it's something I'm going to have to keep in mind as we look at properties.

I'm used to having the property tax vary by county, not by town as it is in Maine. And I've found that the tax rate can vary quite a bit from one town to the next. Just looking at Kennebeck County, the tax rates vary from a high of 20.02 per 1,000 (for Gardiner) to a low of 7.58 (for Rome), and that's a huge difference! On the other hand, towns on opposite ends of Maranacook Lake (Readfield and Winthrop) have tax rates of 14.13 and 13.87 respectively, and that's not much difference at all.
gardiner may be high, but west gardiner is not...
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Old 11-26-2013, 07:40 PM
 
Location: On a Slow-Sinking Granite Rock Up North
3,637 posts, read 5,397,420 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
You are right.

A recent article in the BDN, was quoting the US Census, talking about how many young adults leave Maine. The generally agreed reason is the lack of jobs. At the same time, older adults migrate to Maine. People migrating here about equal the number of people leaving, so Maine's over-all population number stays the same.

We see many people leaving Maine, nearly always because of the lack of employment. Maine has had a long term depressed economy. I think we all agree of that.

So who is set to take advantage of a depressed economy, and low Cost-Of-Living? Seniors with pensions, or large portfolios, that is exactly who.

Maine's economy is primarily tourism. A growing part of that 'tourism' is retirees coming here to spend their pensions, living in Maine.
Agreed and this is why I'd like people who are seeking a better way of life in which to raise a family understand that each situation is different, and that a person who has to find a job to make a living may not see the same opportunity that a pensioner does. Don't get me wrong: I'm not anti-pensioner.

It is just of utmost importance that we are honest with job-seeking families that they must do hard research before they up and move here. Only they will know whether or not they'll be able to live the lifestyle they want on the money they'll make.

I work in a position where I am also working with traveling employees. They literally take assignments from one end of this country to the other, so they live in all sorts of economies. I've heard from both sides of the isle - that this area is ridiculously overpriced in property/other taxes/costs for lack of services and social opportunities and on the other, that it's cheaper to live up here and away from the rat race. It's all about perspective. I ask them specifically these questions because of the discussions I sometimes see on here about the cost of living vs. quality of life. One of them did a couple of stints in in very expensive Hawaii, but when she tried to go back, they wanted to renegotiate the housing stipend in her contract which would have cut pretty severely into her paycheck, so she chose another state. She's from here originally. Periodically she'll come back and take a temp contract here to spend time with her family, but the bottom line is that she travels because it's good money and she is single and childless. It'll be interesting to see where she lands if she ever settles down and has kids.

Personally, I'd love to see younger people stay here and people with families come up here to live, but I also don't want them disillusioned should they come up here and discover their pay is significantly lower than where they came from so any tax savings is offset by lower income. Take some of our advice, but research, research, research based on the way you live now before you move. It's important.
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Old 11-26-2013, 08:13 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,677 posts, read 49,423,020 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reloop View Post
Agreed and this is why I'd like people who are seeking a better way of life in which to raise a family understand that each situation is different, and that a person who has to find a job to make a living may not see the same opportunity that a pensioner does. Don't get me wrong: I'm not anti-pensioner.
The economy of Maine if very depressed. I have not heard anyone suggesting otherwise. I have never suggested otherwise.

Jobs are scarce in Maine. There are very few high paying jobs in Maine. This has been repeated many times; by you, by me, by everyone.



Quote:
... I've heard from both sides of the isle - that this area is ridiculously overpriced in property/other taxes/costs for lack of services and social opportunities and on the other, that it's cheaper to live up here and away from the rat race. It's all about perspective. I ask them specifically these questions because of the discussions I sometimes see on here about the cost of living vs. quality of life. One of them did a couple of stints in in very expensive Hawaii, but when she tried to go back, they wanted to renegotiate the housing stipend in her contract which would have cut pretty severely into her paycheck, so she chose another state. She's from here originally. Periodically she'll come back and take a temp contract here to spend time with her family, but the bottom line is that she travels because it's good money and she is single and childless. It'll be interesting to see where she lands if she ever settles down and has kids.
I can see that.



Quote:
... Personally, I'd love to see younger people stay here and people with families come up here to live, but I also don't want them disillusioned should they come up here and discover their pay is significantly lower than where they came from so any tax savings is offset by lower income. Take some of our advice, but research, research, research based on the way you live now before you move. It's important.
I do not foresee any change in the near future.
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Old 11-27-2013, 12:02 PM
 
Location: South Portland, Maine
2,356 posts, read 5,059,376 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuffler View Post
Allow me to comment on this as I've done a lot of homework since we, too, are headed to Maine as soon as we can arrange to move North from Connecticut.

The bottom line: it's all relative but really comes down to where you are moving from. IF you are coming to Maine from, say, some of the Southern states, you may find it more of a lateral move in a financial respect. If, however, you are moving to Main from my state of CT, you'll be giving yourself quite a raise. YEs, Maine has it share of taxes but, again, it's relative. I pay over $6k in property taxes and that ranks about 2/3rd up the scale here in CT. Some towns have rates that put their property tax over $1000 per month or more. In Maine, however, property prices are well below CT property prices, at least where we've been looking. Sure, you can find a really spendy home to buy in a higher-tax town and see zero difference except that you're living in Maine, a more free state. We, however, are concentrating on some of the more suburban and rural areas. We've found beautiful homes for $140k with 5+ acres and the taxes were sub $2k. We would be living high on the hog with that major difference and our retirement income would go a lot further because of it. Hell, the tax burden alone would go down by over $4k giving us a nice raise not to mention that the home cost is about 1/2 of what we have been paying.

So, are taxes lower in Maine? You betcha especially if you really sit down and do your homework. I've spent over 8 months examining the real-estate leads my realtor has been sending me. We also spend our vacations up there and usually spend two or three days looking at properties just to get the lay of the land and what a certain price-point will get you. Some of the homes were dumps. About 20%, however, have been outstanding buys with a handful almost tempting us to buy now and move later. But, we have a plan and are going to stick with it.

I know that a lot of what I've offered is subjective but you really can't pigeon-hole Maine for what it has to offer is just incredible on virtually all fronts. I can't stress enough, too, the singular independence most mainers exhibit. Sure, there are areas that need help. What state doesn't have them. The bulk of the Mainers there, however, are rugged independent individuals just wanting to be left along to live their lives. That's why we're going North; to find that lifestyle.

Just my 2 cents.

Rome
I have found that unless you are looking for a cultural and lifestyle change be prepared to be surprised. Maine is very different. Portland and vicinity is wonderful but it is not necessarily cheaper to live here unless your willing to accept those changes and move elsewhere in Maine..

If you still need a nice home in a populated community near jobs and want decent schools for kids and neighborhoods like the Portland area you are going to spend some money for that and then (unless your bringing your job with you) you can expect to find the cost of living here pretty high especially when compared to less income.. its a product of what Maine is overall. a poor state. My friends in Mass can complain all they want that they paid 500k for their house and pay 8k in taxes but you know what they do it just fine... and when it comes time to take a vacation, buy a car, send their kids to college, retire ect they are in a much better financial position.

Don't get me wrong I love my life here now but it took a while to get settled. good luck!
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