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Old 03-29-2010, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,083,138 times
Reputation: 15651

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Quote:
Originally Posted by donsabi View Post
Here's a little food for thought: seniors, retirees are not tied to any area because of job demands and therefore free to go where they will. If the tax burden were to increase in the US moving to Mexico, Canada, Britain, France, Ireland, etc., would be the way to go. All these countries mentioned have free health care. Imagine that! As healthcare goes up for seniors that border is looking mighty good. Tack on added taxes and I am on my way.


What about the costs to return to see family and friends?

Last edited by RiverBird; 03-29-2010 at 05:30 PM..
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Old 03-29-2010, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,083,138 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forest beekeeper View Post
Most of Maine [52%] is 'Unorganized Townships'.

My town is one. In 1930 they realized that their property taxes were going to pay salaries for the town councilman, city clerk, dog catcher, building inspector, etc. The town folk got together and burned the town charter.

Maine's economy tanked about the time that household refrigeration became practical and the ice-block shipping industry folded. Maine's economy has never recovered. Families in Maine have been raising their children on minimum-wage jobs ever since the 1930s.

If your pension equals minimum-wage then when moving to Maine you are right about at the average as compared to households that are raising children here. As a retiree I came here, because I did not want to live in a place where my pension would put me below the average.

[Many regions of the US have experienced forms of tax-revolt since the 1930s. We once owned property in Washington State that had gone through such a tax revolt in the 1950s.]



Every county in Maine has a Mil Rate set by the state.

Then each township takes that Mil Rate and adds onto it whatever it takes to support the town budget. When your town charges you property taxes, both the town and the state gets a cut. The UTs only pay the state's portion.



When I was shopping for land, I observed that properties listed on the MLS by realtors tend to be priced from double to as high as five times higher than properties that are marketed FSBO. If you buy from a realtor, you are likely paying 200% to 500% more than what you could have paid for like property in the same town.



Town budgets vary a great deal.

The town to our East has a Mil Rate exactly double my Mil Rate. The town to our South has a Mil Rate three times higher than our Mil Rate. [0.08, 0.16 and 0.24 respectively]

Each Organized Town determines how many they want to have on salary and it's own budget. While the UTs refuse to allow any of that junk.

So you see two neighboring towns can have vastly different Mil Rates.

Also I live in a forest. I have 150 acres of forested land with 1/4 mile of riverfrontage.

In Maine: Farm Land, Forest Land [called Treegrowth], Open Space [wildgame refuge], and Working fishery wharf; are all classifications where the assessed value of the land is reduced by state law. Most states have similar setups this is not unique to Maine.

Being new to Maine and on pension I bought land that is assessed as 'Treegrowth' land, it's assessed value is set at about half of the purchase price.

If I lived in a city with municipal bus service, a few nice parks, lots of LEOs and swim coaches at the highschool, I would be paying for those services through my taxes. I do not, I live in a township that has seen a tax revolt and where they refuse to allow those socialist services.


If so many people living in Maine are basically at the minimum wage level, does that mean that many are receiving public assistance?


I hear so much conflicting informaiton about property taxes in Maine (some say outrageous, others say OK). Your post here is really informative.


Where I am (more affluent area where I am a financial minority), FSBO properties tend to go on the market for much more than a realtor would offer. I think that's b/c owners think their property is great and want to hold out for the MAX offer. In some areas around here they get it. My exp has been to be wary of FSBO, but If I sell I may try to do it myself. If you outprice the market though your house just sits and sits.
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Old 03-29-2010, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,839 posts, read 49,713,958 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
If so many people living in Maine are basically at the minimum wage level, does that mean that many are receiving public assistance?
I have no idea.

We are not receiving any.



Quote:
... I hear so much conflicting information about property taxes in Maine (some say outrageous, others say OK). Your post here is really informative.
Your welcome.

I have friends who live in Portland, while visiting them and their friends conversation has turned to taxes. It sounds as if we live in entirely different states. It is all based on the town and it's make-up.

One nearby town wants 400% more police than it needs, so they have higher taxes to pay for all of those extra LEOs. Their LEOs get bored and go to great lengths to justify their jobs, it makes for interesting reading each week in their newspaper.

Each town is allowed to set it's own budget according to what their residents want.

There are other towns that only have volunteer firemen with donated equipment.

My town did not want to be paying a bunch of salaries and maintaining equipment so they burned the town's charter. No town employees and no town property means much lower taxes.



Quote:
... Where I am (more affluent area where I am a financial minority), FSBO properties tend to go on the market for much more than a realtor would offer. I think that's b/c owners think their property is great and want to hold out for the MAX offer. In some areas around here they get it. My exp has been to be wary of FSBO, but If I sell I may try to do it myself. If you outprice the market though your house just sits and sits.
I suppose that it is different in different regions.
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Old 10-10-2010, 08:23 PM
 
434 posts, read 996,124 times
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I'm reviving an old thread to post a link to an interactive map showing how different states tax retirement income.

https://news.fidelity.com/static/dcl...eeTaxation.swf
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Old 10-10-2010, 09:24 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,839 posts, read 49,713,958 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riverbird View Post
I'm reviving an old thread to post a link to an interactive map showing how different states tax retirement income.

https://news.fidelity.com/static/dcl...eeTaxation.swf
The font is tiny. I can not force it to enlarge the font. So I am having an extremely hard time reading it.

It appears to say Maine is among the most un-friendly tax states for retirement. Which I find odd since Maine does not tax my pension.

And since in terms of vehicle taxes and property taxes Maine has the lowest of any state we have lived in previously.
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Old 10-11-2010, 04:31 AM
 
5,838 posts, read 13,380,383 times
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State income tax, tax pensions, tax military pension, tax SS, tax on clothing, tax on utilities, etc. etc. I think in the end the most important thing is that you are happy living where you retired. If you are bored, lonely and have no friends, but have a few extra dollars at the end of the month, it doesn't matter because you are unhappy. Money isn't everything. It can't buy your health or happiness.
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Old 10-11-2010, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,083,138 times
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Default Maine property tax reduction

I read on the Maine tax site that a senior citizen can work off up to $700 per yr on their property taxes by doing a certain amount of volunteer work for their municipality (I would imagine that includes volunteering in schools? but maybe it means only town hall). Apparently it is not across the board, The actual towns decide it. Anyone have any detail on this?

Also, does Maine have the Circuit Breaker (property tax reduction) for low income seniors age 65+?
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Old 10-11-2010, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
14,370 posts, read 45,192,926 times
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I'm not sure it's possible to rate the states 1 to 50 regarding how "retiree-friendly" they are. Consider FBK and how well Maine works for him - that's specifically because he's well-adapted to Maine, did his homework, figured out what he wanted and how to get it for a low price.

Someone who wanted an urban environment, a warm climate, etc. would not be happy there.

I think the secret is to figure out what compromises you are willing to make, what are your non-negotiables, and find a place that currently offers what you want. Note I said currently, since tax and other policies change over time.
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Old 10-11-2010, 07:04 PM
 
434 posts, read 996,124 times
Reputation: 389
I would never decide to live in a particular state because of its tax policy, (although I was glad to leave California and its high personal income tax rate) but I think the different combinations shown on the map are interesting: some states don't tax Social Security, some don't tax military pensions, some don't tax 'private retirement income,' and so on.
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Old 10-11-2010, 07:24 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,839 posts, read 49,713,958 times
Reputation: 19298
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
I read on the Maine tax site that a senior citizen can work off up to $700 per yr on their property taxes by doing a certain amount of volunteer work for their municipality (I would imagine that includes volunteering in schools? but maybe it means only town hall). Apparently it is not across the board, The actual towns decide it. Anyone have any detail on this?

Also, does Maine have the Circuit Breaker (property tax reduction) for low income seniors age 65+?
I have never heard of such a thing. However not to say it is not so, just that I do not live in a city.

Most of Maine is rural. Townships were drawn on a map shortly after it was declared a state, each township was given a letter and number. Then as time went by if the residents wanted to 'organize' to raise their taxes and provide municipal services they could choose a name for their town, elect officials, and start raising their taxes.

Most townships in Maine never have organized. They are 'Unorganized townships'.

Our town was once organized but in the 1930s they burned their charter to lower their taxes. So we are now 'Unorganized'.

This program that you found would likely only be done in the 'organized' towns.

Taxes on forest land in Maine runs about $1.05 per acre, a hundred acres of pristine forest would cost you roughly $105 each year if you lived in a cabin in the forest.

I messed up when I built our house, it's design is such that it no longer qualifies as a cabin. So our house is now taxed separately and costs us $850/year for 2400 sq ft.

We also get a small reduction for filing our land as a 'homestead'.
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