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Old 01-03-2015, 09:13 AM
 
2,620 posts, read 2,525,312 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
Does anyone get a FIRE TAX in addition to their property tax? This is the way my Mass. town gets around the cap on the Proposition 2 1/2. Unbelievable. So my "property tax" is actually "property tax" + "fire tax," but when you see the real estate listings for my town, you only see the "property tax" itself.
Yes there are a number of additional assessments added to my tax bill. And what most people don't realize is that your homeowners insurance has assessments embedded in the rates that cover municipal taxes, catastrophe and guaranty funds. Kentucky is one with both muni and property tax surcharges. Florida is the worst (though many are expiring in 2015 because it's been a while since there was a hurricane). Two states you want to stay away from if insurance is an issue: Texas and Florida. Both have legislation on the books, passed and ready to implement, that will sock everyone in the state with steep hurricane assessments if a Katrina, Ivan or Dolly shows up again.
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Old 01-03-2015, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in America
12,304 posts, read 10,768,997 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
First year excise tax in Mass. on a 2014 Subaru Forester, $500, going down slightly each year over the next four years and then fixed. In Mass., 5.5% sales tax, no tax on groceries, no tax on clothing up to a certain amount. I cannot imagine paying tax on groceries, but others cannot imagine what we pay in property tax. My California sister pays less prop tax on her almost-mil-dollar home in an upscale town than I do on an old renovated farmhouse here.

It always evades me how so many good areas of the country, outside of New England, manage to pay their municipal costs and administrative salaries and pensions and build new schools and libraries all for a fraction of the cost to taxpayers of what we pay here.
In many areas, the wages are significantly less. There's a ton of new construction so there's a huge increase to the tax base annually. In the northeast, we don't have that kind of construction going on. They also have county wide school districts so every town doesn't have their own elementary, middle, and high school. The schools also tend to have larger enrollments. There's are dozens of schools in my area and where I grew up with ~100 kids per grade. Southern schools aren't like that. They're also not afraid to bus kids more than 5 miles.

Often times, a tax is created just for a school project. When I lived in SC, they tried for years to increase the sales tax 1% to pay for a number of school projects. It never went anywhere. They finally got it to pass this year after making significant changes to the project. You don't hear about that. You just hear about the cheap taxes. Yes, the property taxes were less on our house in SC than either house we have had in NY, but the sales tax was more in SC and they gave personal property taxes which we don't have in NY. They also gave a tax on groceries. All those little things add up quickly. They're just not as noticeable as a $4000 tax bill due in one lump sum.
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Old 01-03-2015, 09:15 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in America
12,304 posts, read 10,768,997 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
Does anyone get a FIRE TAX in addition to their property tax? This is the way my Mass. town gets around the cap on the Proposition 2 1/2. Unbelievable. So my "property tax" is actually "property tax" + "fire tax," but when you see the real estate listings for my town, you only see the "property tax" itself.
Yes, separate taxes for fire, library, police, etc are very common. Would you rather not have a fire department? When you need them, you won't complain!
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Old 01-03-2015, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,978,143 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ss20ts View Post
Yes, separate taxes for fire, library, police, etc are very common. Would you rather not have a fire department? When you need them, you won't complain!
In other towns I have lived in, the fire tax and trash fee were part of the total property tax bill. My small town (you can walk from one end to the other) we have not one but two fire depts, not one but two fire chiefs making a large salary, so we have to pay the salaries and pensions of many staff. This fire tax, lifted out of the property tax, is what they do to go over the cap.

Now we have to purchase our trash bags, pay an annual trash fee (not cheap), AND pay for a dump sticker. We are also paying for the losses on a town-owned golf course and for a library and school that are costing twice the amount of similar buildings in nearby towns.

As we can see, it takes a ton of detailed research to really ferret out the cost of living in a particular place. Nothing is as simple as we'd like to believe, and there are tradeoffs galore in relocating.
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Old 01-03-2015, 09:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
Nothing is as simple as we'd like to believe, and there are tradeoffs galore in relocating.
I agree. As one poster wisely said, if you want to live anywhere nice, you are paying for it somewhere. It surprises me how many people think that good roads, schools, utilities and services just appear out of thin air, or that maybe someone else foots the bill on their behalf. Yes, people can live more cheaply in some parts of the country. But you are losing something out of the deal to do so.
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Old 01-03-2015, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Maryland
282 posts, read 306,027 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicet4 View Post
In Georgia all retirement income is now exempt from state income taxes. All as in regardless of amount, if it's retirement income it's not taxed.
Is that new for income in 2014 or 2015? In 2013 the GA tax forms show the exclusion is $65,000 for a taxpayer above the age of 65. For taxpayers between the ages of 62 and 65, the exemption is $35,000. A couple gets double that if they both meet the age.
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Old 01-03-2015, 10:00 AM
 
698 posts, read 767,503 times
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The home I sold back in 2013 is in a dark area but I found both the dollars and percentages to be half of what I was paying. And I lived in an entry level home, so not sure where they got the figures for that area. But I do agree that it is accurately colored dark!
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Old 01-03-2015, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Maryland
282 posts, read 306,027 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luv4horses View Post
Many of us will need to consider property taxes when deciding if we should move during retirement. This map was really interesting to me so I thought I would share it.
Property taxes: How does your county compare? - CNNMoney.com
It says my county is 0.72% of value. However, that is inaccurate. My bill shows:
0.857% county property tax
0.112% state property tax
0.050% Fire tax
0.017% Rescue squad
0.016% Support Services
--------
1.052% total property tax
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Old 01-03-2015, 10:25 AM
 
8,201 posts, read 11,915,499 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoriBee62 View Post
I agree. As one poster wisely said, if you want to live anywhere nice, you are paying for it somewhere. It surprises me how many people think that good roads, schools, utilities and services just appear out of thin air, or that maybe someone else foots the bill on their behalf. Yes, people can live more cheaply in some parts of the country. But you are losing something out of the deal to do so.
The bolded section above does occur in some places....they're called tourists.
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Old 01-03-2015, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Houston, TX
14,699 posts, read 8,490,820 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoriBee62 View Post
I agree. As one poster wisely said, if you want to live anywhere nice, you are paying for it somewhere. It surprises me how many people think that good roads, schools, utilities and services just appear out of thin air, or that maybe someone else foots the bill on their behalf. Yes, people can live more cheaply in some parts of the country. But you are losing something out of the deal to do so.
Yes, but when I checked my state, Texas, it appears that not only are we paying high property taxes, among the highest in the country, we also pay for trash and car registration separately. We also pay 8.25% sales tax. Plus many of our highways which used to be free are becoming toll roads: Hwy 290, Hwy 249, and a couple of others I can't recall. However, we don't pay a state income tax. And we have an overall low pay scale in relation to the rest of the country. We also have lousy schools; ranked 48th. I wonder where all this money goes. I bet many other Texans wonder the same thing
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