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Old 10-08-2011, 06:40 PM
 
Location: Texas
6 posts, read 6,313 times
Reputation: 10

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Howdy from Texas!!

My little family and I (wife, two kids) are contemplating a move to Omaha for work (transfer).

Coming from Texas, I already know that I have an uphill battle ahead of me as your average home prices are more expensive (by about 10-20%) and Nebraska collects personal income taxes (Texas has no personal income tax). I am not thrilled about either part, but it is what it is.

What I do want to do is mitigate the above as much as possible by doing some planning ahead. I have spent a few months in Omaha while doing some training several years ago, so I am not completely unfamiliar -- but just the same, I don't know the place well enough to know everything I probably need to.

Above all, I am looking for advice that follows the basic premise that I want to pay as few taxes as possible. I mean property taxes, city taxes, vehicle registration -- everything.

Granted, just like most people I want my kids to grow up in a safe neighborhood (realizing that no neighborhood is perfect) so suburbs are fine -- but I am also willing to consider the more midtown parts with the older, more nostalgic homes provided they are halfway decent neighborhoods and are not full of nuts and freaks of the uber-utopian-progressive crowd. I'm also not really interested in moving into the middle of the "Rainbow Flag" part of Omaha, as I'm sure one exists (not a 'phobe, just not my crowd).

Which part(s) of Omaha is/are the most ideal for the above?

What else am I in for? How do the taxes work (and from which entities?)

How about winter? What does someone from a non-snow-producing state need to know about living in Omaha?

Sorry for so many questions, but I'm sure you all understand. Your opinions are much appreciated and I will be checking this thread regularly now for a while to see what crops up.

Thanks, Y'ALL !!

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Old 10-08-2011, 07:34 PM
CCJ
 
Location: Omaha
55 posts, read 140,474 times
Reputation: 24
Each area is going to have a different tax rate so it is hard to generalize which one would be the lowest. First you have the tax levy for the school district's, here are some of them for the metro area

2010-2011 Tax Rate
Bellevue Public Schools $1.05
Elkhorn Public Schools $1.31
Millard Public Schools $1.21
Omaha Public Schools $1.21
Papillion/LaVista Public Schools $1.25
Ralston Public Schools $1.27
Westside Public Schools $1.28

Then you have to know if the subdivision you are looking at is annexed or not. If is not annexed and part of an SID, the property taxes are generally higher (and go down eventually went subdivision is annexed). You can check out the property tax info at Home DC Assessor for Douglas county or Sarpy County Public Property Search for Sarpy county. I believe it will also list if a house is in an SID on the MLS listing so I am sure your realtor could help you figure it out.

I don't think there is anyway to make vehicle registration cheaper unless you are in a tax district that is more than a 3 mile radius from the Omaha city limits. The wheel tax is $50.

We moved here last year from TX. My only winter suggestion is to be prepared far before you *think* you need to be. Last winter it was still nice in early November so I hadn't yet bought snow clothes for my kids. I went out of town and so naturally it snowed while I was gone. Since it was the first snow of the year and the first my kids had ever seen they were super excited to play in it. They went out in their fashion boots, medium jackets and gloves that were not waterproof (my hubby tried to tell them they would get cold but they wanted to go outside so bad they decided to go for it anyway). It didn't take long before they came in freezing. lol

Also, people have also recommended practicing snow driving in empty parking lots if driving in snow is a worry for you. Just remember to drive much slower than normal and give yourself a lot of time to stop.

We live in the 'burbs, in the Elkhorn School District and we love it. Omaha is a decent sized city with a small town feel (at least that is my opinion of the area I'm in). I thought people were friendly in TX (after moving there from NM) but Omaha has them beat.

I am not sure what part of TX you are from, but the traffic is so much better than San Antonio. Rush hour is here is nothing. I think my hubby has only gotten stuck in traffic once and it was because they closed Dodge due to ice.

Good luck with your move!
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Old 10-08-2011, 07:51 PM
 
Location: Texas
6 posts, read 6,313 times
Reputation: 10
CCJ, thanks for your response.

I probably should have specified when I started to mention tax rates what kind of tax structure I am used to here in Texas.

My property tax bill at the end of the year composed of three separate parts: school district taxes (wich are roughtly $2500 for me), utility districty taxes (about $1500) and county taxes (another $1500).

How is it broken down in Nebraska?
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Old 10-08-2011, 10:30 PM
CCJ
 
Location: Omaha
55 posts, read 140,474 times
Reputation: 24
I just looked up our own taxes and here is what the breakdown was:

Authority Levy Distribution %
CITY OMAHA .49922 21.8417
CITY COUNTY BUILDING .01300 .5688
COUNTY .26459 11.5762
EDUCATIONAL SERVICE UNIT 3 .01611 .7048
LEARN COMM-CAPITAL PROJ .01125 .4922
LEARNING COMMUNITY .95000 41.5640
M.U.D. YES .00000 .0000
METRO AREA TRANSIT .04872 2.1316
METRO COMM COLLEGE .08500 3.7189
N.R.D. .03275 1.4329
SCHOOL ELKHORN .36499 15.9689

Consolidated Levy: 2.28563 100

I don't know what NRD is. MUD is utilities (natural gas & water) but I don't know why it is listed since it is zero. It does not give me the actual amount for each item, I would have to do the math. It appears that about 62% of my property taxes go to education in some form (including the community college). If I were in a SID (Sanitary and Improvement District), it would have a couple different lines since they do not have the city taxes, have some extra county taxes, I believe a levy for fire department and then the SID itself.

Hope that helps.
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Old 10-08-2011, 10:31 PM
CCJ
 
Location: Omaha
55 posts, read 140,474 times
Reputation: 24
Sorry the format on that did not copy well!
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Old 10-09-2011, 01:31 AM
 
1,221 posts, read 2,129,005 times
Reputation: 1057
Quote:
Originally Posted by misterblack View Post
Howdy from Texas!!

My little family and I (wife, two kids) are contemplating a move to Omaha for work (transfer).

Coming from Texas, I already know that I have an uphill battle ahead of me as your average home prices are more expensive (by about 10-20%) and Nebraska collects personal income taxes (Texas has no personal income tax). I am not thrilled about either part, but it is what it is.

What I do want to do is mitigate the above as much as possible by doing some planning ahead. I have spent a few months in Omaha while doing some training several years ago, so I am not completely unfamiliar -- but just the same, I don't know the place well enough to know everything I probably need to.

Above all, I am looking for advice that follows the basic premise that I want to pay as few taxes as possible. I mean property taxes, city taxes, vehicle registration -- everything.

Granted, just like most people I want my kids to grow up in a safe neighborhood (realizing that no neighborhood is perfect) so suburbs are fine -- but I am also willing to consider the more midtown parts with the older, more nostalgic homes provided they are halfway decent neighborhoods and are not full of nuts and freaks of the uber-utopian-progressive crowd. I'm also not really interested in moving into the middle of the "Rainbow Flag" part of Omaha, as I'm sure one exists (not a 'phobe, just not my crowd).

Which part(s) of Omaha is/are the most ideal for the above?

What else am I in for? How do the taxes work (and from which entities?)

How about winter? What does someone from a non-snow-producing state need to know about living in Omaha?

Sorry for so many questions, but I'm sure you all understand. Your opinions are much appreciated and I will be checking this thread regularly now for a while to see what crops up.

Thanks, Y'ALL !!

First, you might want to consider leaving your attitudes about people who aren't like you behind in Texas. Omaha is a live an let live place. We have Liberals and Conservatives, Gays with rainbow flags and non-gays, Catholics, Jews, Protestants, Buddhists, Moslems and Hindus, freaks and nuts and uber-progressives and Tea Party members, gun nuts, and utopians-----and some of them even live right next door to each other---------really, I'm not kidding.

Last edited by smithy77; 10-09-2011 at 02:08 AM..
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Old 10-09-2011, 10:14 PM
CCJ
 
Location: Omaha
55 posts, read 140,474 times
Reputation: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by smithy77 View Post
First, you might want to consider leaving your attitudes about people who aren't like you behind in Texas. Omaha is a live an let live place. We have Liberals and Conservatives, Gays with rainbow flags and non-gays, Catholics, Jews, Protestants, Buddhists, Moslems and Hindus, freaks and nuts and uber-progressives and Tea Party members, gun nuts, and utopians-----and some of them even live right next door to each other---------really, I'm not kidding.
I think TX was pretty much the same way....
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Old 10-09-2011, 10:36 PM
 
Location: Omaha, NE
306 posts, read 599,630 times
Reputation: 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by CCJ View Post
I don't know what NRD is. MUD is utilities (natural gas & water) but I don't know why it is listed since it is zero. It does not give me the actual amount for each item, I would have to do the math. It appears that about 62% of my property taxes go to education in some form (including the community college). If I were in a SID (Sanitary and Improvement District), it would have a couple different lines since they do not have the city taxes, have some extra county taxes, I believe a levy for fire department and then the SID itself.

Hope that helps.
NRD = Nebraska Resources District
They might throw that MUD line on since it's a public utility so you are entitled to elect people to sit on the MUD board.
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Old 10-10-2011, 12:48 PM
 
53 posts, read 197,967 times
Reputation: 26
What part of Texas are you from? I have been researching places to relocate and found that the home prices were the same or a little cheaper in NE than Texas.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:12 PM
 
Location: Texas
6 posts, read 6,313 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Socal2Omaha View Post
What part of Texas are you from? I have been researching places to relocate and found that the home prices were the same or a little cheaper in NE than Texas.
NOT quite. I currently have a 4br, 2.5 bath home that's around 2,100 sq. ft. and is probably worth around $160k-$165k, built in 2002. I live in a pretty nice neighborhood, comparable to what you would see in West Omaha.

I have no basement, but neither does any of the other homes down here as winter is no comparison and it's just not practical to build basements when it is so cheap to build 2nd and 3rd stories (not that you see many 3-story houses, but I digress).

The equivalent in Omaha is going to cost me easily $20k-$40k more as I see it, but the bonus is a basement.

It just depends on where you are at. I am in Houston and we probably have the most affordable market in the state, as far as urban areas go. Dallas, Austin and San Antonio are a bit more expensive.

The more I research, the more it seems like West Omaha is kind of where we might be headed. We like some of the homes we've seen in Midtown, but the biggest concern there is schools in that part of town (let's say 30th-50th just north and south of Dodge, as an example). Not afraid of an older home, if renovated, but sending the kids off to school with a high population of (sorry to say it) disadvantaged kids would be a deal-breaker. Not that I am heartless and don't feel bad for those kids, but I'm sure anyone can understand.. I care about who my kids grow up with and ultimately begin to emulate.
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