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Old 11-17-2017, 10:10 PM
 
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In the Retirement forum, there are ubiquitous discussions of relocation to a state with lower tax burden. For young families raising kids, higher taxes in exchange for better services (and in particular, better schools) are an eminently reasonable consideration. For older people, or child-free people, the desire to save money might be paramount.

The question is, to what extent does low-tax correlate with “conservative”, or high-tax with “liberal”?

My own dream-location for retirement is a place where taxes are moderate (and ideally outright low), but where the prevailing culture is heavily influenced by people with a strong educational background. Is that self-contradictory? Perhaps.

Much has been written about self-segregation in modern America, along political lines. But what about white-collar vs. blue-collar lines?

 
Old 11-18-2017, 01:36 AM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,664 posts, read 23,241,522 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaAma View Post
We moved from Massachusetts to Alaska five years ago, and our choices both to leave and where to move to were based in part on the political leanings of the locations involved. This is not out of any desire to be insulated from opposing viewpoints, but because the majority political opinion of a place will have a direct, tangible impact on the lives of the people living there.

Massachusetts is a very high-tax nanny state, where it's very difficult to start a business or homeschool your kids. At the time we moved it was also the only state to have imposed mandatory health insurance, which was a product that it didn't make financial sense for us to buy. So we moved to Alaska, where the political climate is much more independent and people are, for the most part, left alone to run their own lives. We can educate our child without the state's interference, and the process of starting our own business is far less onerous. Of course it's not perfect, but it suits us much better. It seems to me to make perfect sense to choose a place to live where the political inclinations are in line with one's own priorities.
AlaskaAma, I happen to agree. Unless you grew up in a particular place and are accustomed to it, moving to a place where people have decidedly different political viewpoints, can be disconcerting and isolating.

I'm glad that you are happier in Alaska.

I am from the other side of the political spectrum. For me, moving to a very conservative state would be difficult. Moving is stressful and expensive. Why up root your self or your family and move to a place with different customs, food, terrain, climate and lifestyle -AND is politically opposite of you? It makes no sense.

I don't think people on the left do it any more than people on the right. I do think that thoughtful people try to find out as much as they can before moving.

A preponderance of people who have a markedly different political persuasion could easily make things more difficult. Why bother?

I have conservative friends and we get along well, for the most part. But these are long time friends with a shared history of experiences, laughter, supporting one another and life events.

It's very different when you are the new kid on the block.

That does not make anyone narrow minded or paranoid. It makes them realistic and practical.

ETA - I moved to Ohio from the NYC suburbs, which, contrary to popular belief, is not wildly liberal. It's about half and half, with some towns more right, and others more left.

NE OH is pretty similar. Mixed and tolerant. Not ALL places are.
 
Old 11-18-2017, 05:45 AM
 
Location: Mexico City (at the moment)
1,345 posts, read 469,329 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
Don't forget that people want diverse, progressive, liberal, rural, small towns with active arts scenes where they'll be welcomed with open arms even after calling the longtime residents toothless, uneducated, meth smoking, Oxy dealing, trailer park dwelling, sister ****ing inbreds.

Other than that they really like their new neighbors.
Ha! Perfectly said. C-D forums are certianly full of that. Some are more polite than others. (You forgot they usually also want low taxes, an inexpensive COL, and great housing on a budget in a walkable neighborhood where they can raise animals...)

The Oregon-Eugene forum has a real humdinger like that, which is topping that particular forum, by an angry revolutionary Marxist.

As to the OP, finding people you are like is important to some, and it seems especially so to soon to be retirees. Those are folks that will likely be less immersed in the job and younger kids daily life hamster wheel, and want to be involved in activities in their new communities (which means interacting with the people there).

I get it. I'm one of those very soon to be retirees, and I certianly assessed that type of thing before deciding on a place to land. When I was younger I was chasing good work more than anything, and I moved a lot.
 
Old 11-18-2017, 07:05 AM
 
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FL
5,320 posts, read 8,176,287 times
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I'm in west central Florida and see many people from northern states and mid-western states. I've rarely had anyone mention anything about their political bent and have never had anyone mention it as a concern for selecting an area. Now, it's possible that they've already done the research and satisfied themselves on the subject by the time they reach me but my area seems to be nicely mixed between left and right so I doubt most people coming here are viewing politics as a big deal for them. Many of these people are retiring or looking for a second home so they like the absence of a state income tax.

I do see some people who are not shy about showing their "geographically-based ethnocentrism" (so to speak) when they observe something here that they perceive as "inferior" relative to the way it is at home. I understand it...I came here from NY in '86...but I also wonder in the back of my mind if they will be happy in their new home if they fail to adopt their new way of life even if the differences are minor. I remember when I first moved down here there were two popular bumper stickers at the time. The first was "Florida Native" and the second was "We Don't Care How You Did It Up North". The message that there was a level of resentment of all the northerners coming down and wanting to make Florida like the northeast (or whatever) was clear to me. I viewed it as a "when in Rome..." kind of thing and it made the move much easier because it shaped my way of thinking. In that way, I can see why political point-of-view as a selection factor could be important. Let's face it...moving to an area that tends to be heavily one way or another, and either expecting to change people or resenting them for their views, is an upstream swim.
 
Old 11-18-2017, 07:25 AM
 
2,381 posts, read 1,212,433 times
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Yes, OP people do this. And I think it makes sense.

I have lived in both red and blue areas/states-- strongly one way or the other. I can say that my social experiences in areas which did not align with my outlook in significant ways were not places I felt comfortable long term.

We tend to be involved with local governments because of real estate development that my partner does and investments that we both own. Local and state regulations also vary politically, so some places are easier to work in than others. We also look at age demographics, median income level, percentage of people below the poverty line, type of housing stock, availability of transportation, and cultural resources when picking a place to live.
 
Old 11-18-2017, 07:48 AM
 
1,528 posts, read 905,137 times
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The total tax burden (state income tax, property tax, sales tax) in "high tax" Vermont (ranked #3 in the US) is 10.75% and the total tax burden in "low tax" Virginia (ranked #40) is 7.6%. That's only around a 3% difference and those states are on the pretty extreme ends of the scale. Most states are much closer in tax burden.

The most extreme blue state is Hawaii with 54 percent Democrats and 30 percent Republicans. The most extreme red state is Utah with 62 percent Republicans; 26 percent Democrats. Even 'extreme' Massachusetts is 52% Democrats and 32% Republicans. 'Extreme' Montana is 50% Republicans and 36% Democrats. Most states are separated by less than 10 percentage points between the two parties. These numbers suggest a high level of moderation. Also, in the end, most Republicans and Democrats share similar values and are not that far off as sensationalists try to make us believe. Both want good schools for kids, jobs, law and order, good roads, availability of healthcare, clean water and safe food, etc.

As for the "data points" about people here on CD talking about picking up their lives and moving across country to save 2% in tax or so that they can be somewhere where there are more (or less) churches, Trump supporters, guns, abortion clinics, etc....99% of these are just frustrated dreamers spouting pure fantasy. Most people do not point their fingers to places on maps and move based on red state or blue state nonsense. Most people move due to practical reasons (job opportunities, job transfers, marrying someone from somewhere else, going of to college and staying there afterwards, moving "back home", etc, etc.
 
Old 11-18-2017, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Mexico City (at the moment)
1,345 posts, read 469,329 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by just_because View Post
The total tax burden (state income tax, property tax, sales tax) in "high tax" Vermont (ranked #3 in the US) is 10.75% and the total tax burden in "low tax" Virginia (ranked #40) is 7.6%. That's only around a 3% difference and those states are on the pretty extreme ends of the scale. Most states are much closer in tax burden.
I would disagree. State tax rates on income alone may be one thing, but that is a bit simplistic to look at just that. When viewing tax rates, one must look at all of the state/local/sales/property taxes combined for ones particular situation. Some states do not tax SS income, some do partial, some view it as any other income. Some types of annuities are taxed at different rates by type or means testing.

Low income tax states, or low/no sales tax states often offset revenue by high property taxes, etc...

When looking at the entire picture, dependant on ones situation (retiree? Off to start a new business?), the differential in overall tax burdens across the spectrum can be quite significant between different states.
 
Old 11-18-2017, 09:05 AM
 
1,528 posts, read 905,137 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snebarekim View Post
I would disagree. State tax rates on income alone may be one thing, but that is a bit simplistic to look at just that. When viewing tax rates, one must look at all of the state/local/sales/property taxes combined for ones particular situation. Some states do not tax SS income, some do partial, some view it as any other income. Some types of annuities are taxed at different rates by type or means testing.

Low income tax states, or low/no sales tax states often offset revenue by high property taxes, etc...

When looking at the entire picture, dependant on ones situation (retiree? Off to start a new business?), the differential in overall tax burdens across the spectrum can be quite significant between different states.
As clearly stated in my post, my figures were not just income tax. It was considering sales tax, property tax and income tax. Total tax burden as clearly stated.

I take your point that there are details that make some states better for some personal situations and other states better for other situations. But that's not principle, values or ideology. This thread is about politics and principles, not "what is the best state for me to retire in if I have high annuity income". And yes, some states have higher and lower fees for licenses, etc. The point is that there is relatively little difference in taxation and differences in little details like how annuity income is taxed is not indicative of a state that is deeply socialist vs a state that's staunchly capitalist and individualistic. Few percent differences are not fundamental differences in ideology. I'm not saying that a few percentage points don't matter to people's wallets, but again, it's hardly a matter of socialism vs libertarian capitalism.

Look at a few different orgs that rank states by tax burden and while they use different methodologies related to taxes that different profiles of people (higher, lower income, retirees, property owners vs renters, etc) will pay, the results are very similar to what I quoted.
 
Old 11-18-2017, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Mexico City (at the moment)
1,345 posts, read 469,329 times
Reputation: 1963
Quote:
Originally Posted by just_because View Post
As clearly stated in my post, my figures were not just income tax. It was considering sales tax, property tax and income tax. Total tax burden as clearly stated.

I take your point that there are details that make some states better for some personal situations and other states better for other situations. But that's not principle, values or ideology. This thread is about politics and principles, not "what is the best state for me to retire in if I have high annuity income". And yes, some states have higher and lower fees for licenses, etc. The point is that there is relatively little difference in taxation and differences in little details like how annuity income is taxed is not indicative of a state that is deeply socialist vs a state that's staunchly capitalist and individualistic. Few percent differences are not fundamental differences in ideology. I'm not saying that a few percentage points don't matter to people's wallets, but again, it's hardly a matter of socialism vs libertarian capitalism.

Look at a few different orgs that rank states by tax burden and while they use different methodologies related to taxes that different profiles of people (higher, lower income, retirees, property owners vs renters, etc) will pay, the results are very similar to what I quoted.
You are correct in that you stated you were assessing overall rates and not just state income tax, my mistake. But I still disagree with your numbers and differentials between states. Montana, with overall rates for a median family size at median income levels having a rate around 8% is quite a bit different than a state like New York having combined rates north of 13%. Granted, there are different methods used by different orgs to come up with these, so results vary some, but even the smallish differences are very important to many people (not just the tax adverse libertarian types), so I would not be so quick to brush them aside.

How does it tie into political leaning? It certianly varies from person to person, but the states that want to raise specific taxes, supposedly for revenue to scratch a particular social itch, matters to many.

I'll give a couple of personal examples that chafed me on left/right political grounds. I'm a Maryland resident and taxpayer on paper, even though I have not lived there on a full time basis in years (I'm transient due to career demands).

In 2007 or so, Maryland state raised cigarette taxes by a dollar a pack, the brain trust of then Gov. Martin O'Malley. Why? To curb smoking, and this was greatly touted to heavily raise revenue, which was said to be for childrens health services. I'm not a smoker, but I know it is hard to argue for something related to liberty and smokers in any case (that is why "sin" taxes are so prevelant), and being for children benefits? It easily passed in true blue Maryland with much fanfare.

I, even as a layman,knew from the beginning that the Maryland smokers would simply buy cigarettes out of state in bulk, and revenue would not change in any significant way. And I was correct! Not only did revenue from cigarette sales not rise, it dropped.
How did Maryland react? Enacting state legislation making bringing in more than two cartons from another state illegal, and then raising the tax by another dollar a pack! Revenue dropped further yet, and now there were smokers getting fined as petty criminals for tax violations on cigarettes brought in from elsewhere, and that entire "for the children" funding never happened from that revenue source. Oppressive, social engineering taxation by partisan lawmakers, proven ineffective once again.

A couple years later Maryland decided to enact a "rain tax" on all residents that had properties or businesses in counties that were near tributaries that fed into the Chesapeake Bay, which had rising nitrogen levels. The nitrogen was attributed to fertilizers in agriculture, and to some degree leaky septic systems. But the tax was levied on everybody that had a roof on any structure (thats where the rain falls that moves the nitogen, see? ), and on anybody that had paved or treated property on their land,
NOT if you farmed with nitrogen based fertilizers or used a septic tank.
And how was this tax to be spent? The state of Maryland announced they did not have a defined use for it, but hey, we will conduct some studies at some point!

So, me personally, I do not want to physically move to Maryland on a permanent basis , and the non transparent taxation, and social justice oriented taxation schemes is part of it. YMMV.
 
Old 11-18-2017, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Upper Left Hand Corner
2,558 posts, read 955,781 times
Reputation: 4164
A "rain tax"????? That is absurd. Why don't they just do something about the actual cause of the high nitrogen levels? Or does that make too much sense.
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