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Old 11-19-2009, 09:49 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
31,148 posts, read 50,323,277 times
Reputation: 19856

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Broken Tap, I hear you.

From my experiences moving around, most places have had such truly high cost-of-living, that Maine has been great for us.

I would have a very difficult time affording to live anywhere that was not as low-cost as Maine is.

The picture that you paint does describe the entire nation.

The 'highest taxes' thing is actually the 'tax-burden' which is calculated by the Tax-foundation, and focuses on the indexing their numbers by the average household income. Which is effected a great deal by the urban masses that live below the Volvo-line.

I spent some time this summer in California [a state which is bankrupt] and drove by a tent city populated by thousands of folks who have lost their jobs and their homes. With areas that are having a truly difficult time economically, I find it hard to lie about Maine and tell anyone that Maine is having such a hard time.

May God bless you.
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Old 11-20-2009, 08:40 AM
 
357 posts, read 890,938 times
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If you want to live simple life, land in Maine rural area is cheap, that mean tax base is low, tax amount is depending on the services provide by town you live in. some of the rural area are with in 20 miles from nice grocery stores and big box stores like Home Depot, Lowes and Walmart. That was a big surprise
5 miles from the stores nothing but trees and open space.the utilities cost is high compare the area i used to lived or living now. For those who can do things for them self and love cold weather Maine rural is a good place be and very green state (lots of trees).
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Old 11-20-2009, 09:55 AM
 
Location: The Woods
17,096 posts, read 22,613,580 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenTap View Post
I don't think your portrayal of Maine is very accurate at all FBK, maybe with rose colored glasses, but certainly not reality. As someone once said, Maine is always in a recession and that certainly is the truth.

Our taxes are high because everything has a tax or increasingly so..."fees". A fee to buy a barrel of oil, a fee to buy an appliance, a fee to buy a battery. Its never ending here, but that stems from being a very liberal state and when that happens, we all know what happens to property taxes. With over 50% of the working population working for government of some type, there is no question that we pay dearly through the nose just to survive here.
More expensive here in Vermont...Maine is downright cheap compared to Vermont.

Quote:
But you neglected to mention utility bills...the highest electric rates in the nation. Its listed as only 10 cents a kw, but we are a deregulated power state, so it costs us another 7 cents to get it to our homes. We pay 17 cents a kw in the end while North Dakota only pays 7 cents per kw. Most states pay close to that...not what we pay. And our gasoline taxes...in addition to our excise tax, is around 27 cents a gallon if memory serves me right. Its like 54 cents a gallon here in taxes for gas.
Off grid is nice to not rely on such "services"...you have full control over how much of those sorts of taxes you pay...by using more or less of the taxed item. Much better than property taxes...

Quote:
For years and years we had the highest taxes per capita in the Nation, but the powers that be hated that so they changed the rules. They decided since many retires reside in Maine only in the summer, they no longer counted which changed the stats. The reality is, nothing changed when it comes to paying taxes. We pay dearly.
The urban areas of Southern ME skew the stats though. My relatives in Northern Maine pay less than $1,000 in taxes on their home and land.

Quote:
As for climate, you have not seen anything yet. The last few years have not had much snow, but in 35 years here I have seen wet years and dry years, cold years and warm years, and if the 10 year weather cycle is holding true, we are about to get a very snowy year. Last year it hit -45.2 below...in F...without factoring in windchill. In 1993 we had snow 5-6 feet deep in the woods, and cold temperatures to boot. Those days will return at some point...they always do.
Quite true. That's how weather is in Northern New England. We're overdue for some very cold temps one of these years here...that's one reason I have snowshoes and very warm clothes that I'll have when it hits.

Quote:
I should not even get started on the hypocricy of tree growth. That is a tax evasion strategy that just puts higher taxes on the other landowners in town. If you are not paying your fair share then it goes onto to everyone else you know? It's not like the State of Maine is actually paying the towns for the acreage enrolled in that program, but because you do not live in an organized town, you don't know that. The state right now is not paying for much...foster parents included, or farmers reimbursement payments which they promised us, which I happen to be both. Its not a good time to be a Maine Resident, but this is my home and so I stay, even if I pay dearly for it.
Fully disagree. If you're not using all the services higher taxes pay for, you owe nothing as far as I'm concerned. Those organized areas with high taxes have them because the residents demand so much from the government...city people like big government. I never have. We had lots of creative ways of lowering our taxes in Northern Vermont. All legal too. Such as not keep the place looking perfectly tidy and nice (lower taxes). Keep in mind that without ME's tree growth program, you'd drive even more forest landowners to dump their land. Consider the implications economically and with regard to traditional uses. You don't want the out of state environmentalists buying up even more land to turn the state into a national park.

My land in Alaska has no property taxes. Some from the high tax cities might say they're shouldering the burden of the Unorganized areas, but in fact, the people there generally have no use for the sorts of "services" those taxes pay for, and often, no access to them anyways. I know a family living in the bush in the Mat-Su Borough, a high tax area. Their taxes were hiked up high but they get absolutely nothing for the taxes. They're just paying for the city people who want big government.
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
31,148 posts, read 50,323,277 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wabanaki View Post
If you want to live simple life, land in Maine rural area is cheap, that mean tax base is low, tax amount is depending on the services provide by town you live in. some of the rural area are with in 20 miles from nice grocery stores and big box stores like Home Depot, Lowes and Walmart. That was a big surprise 5 miles from the stores nothing but trees and open space.the utilities cost is high compare the area i used to lived or living now. For those who can do things for them self and love cold weather Maine rural is a good place be and very green state (lots of trees).
What you are describing has been our experience with Maine.

We have only been here since 2005, so it is possible [as others have pointed out to me] that we simply have not lived here long enough to see the full effect of taxes in Maine.

Presumably after a decade here, we will be presented with this huge tax bill that folks talk about.
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Old 11-20-2009, 11:22 AM
 
1,297 posts, read 3,158,802 times
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It is funny...today I was talking with my USDA soil conservation planner and said he'll probably leave Maine in another year or two because the cost of living is so high. His taxes went up 700 dollars last year, and the town is now reevaluating taxes and the town clerks said "watch out because you haven't seen anything yet!". Now mind you this is coming from a person with a very good federal job and both of us live well above the Volvo Line!

No leaving for me anyway though. I could have gotten out last year and sold to the Amish and retired at 35 years old, but we have been here too long to sell. I'm not sure how I am going to continue to pay property taxes, but I see a lot of sheep and piles of wood in my future. In other words I'll work and fulfill my financial obligations instead of sticking my hand out for anything and everything that comes along.

We had it good back though back in the 1970's and 1980's when the chicken farms were running all out, but now that they are gone, and the state seems determined to do the same thing to the dairy farms, things seem pretty bleak from my end of things. I know no one is replacing us farmers that's for sure.

But this is also coming from a farmer that doesn't leach off the US Government either. I did take a conservation subsidy last year...I admit that, but it was the first one since 1947 so my family does not abuse the situation...but overall I pay my full share for my farm. No tree growth tax evasion strategies to pass off to my fellow landowners even though the Maine Forest Service admits my forests look better then most of those people with forest plans. We pretty much do what's right, but it seems in this state, that isn't what they want. They want houses on these hills so they can tax the heck out of them and keep their coffers filled. We'll get our food from China...or Mexico...or Chilli...instead of here...that is what Al Gore said when he was in office anyway.

It inevitable I guess, but I still try and fight it, still try and plan to keep what I have so that my daughter and her husband will have the opportunity to have what I have been granted. I could die tomorrow and be happy...I have had an excellent, fulfilled life, but I just want her to say that same statement too when she is 35 years (32 years from now). As it looks right now, I am not sure she will be able to say that though. Sad indeed....
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Old 11-20-2009, 12:18 PM
 
9,807 posts, read 13,686,634 times
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------" I could die tomorrow and be happy--I have had an excellent fullfilled life--"

Surprised someone at age 35 could say that knowing his death would leave a 3 year old without a father.
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:11 PM
 
357 posts, read 890,938 times
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People visit Maine because of it nature and rural beauty, farm land need to be preserved to draw visitors to the area, why the government want to tax farm land more than those tree growth or open space for recreation.
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:15 PM
 
Location: The Woods
17,096 posts, read 22,613,580 times
Reputation: 9375
Quote:
I'm not sure how I am going to continue to pay property taxes
Quote:
No tree growth tax evasion strategies to pass off to my fellow landowners even though the Maine Forest Service admits my forests look better then most of those people with forest plans.
Taxation is theft. Avoiding taxes is not a bad thing. Tax evasion by definition is when you don't pay taxes you must, tax avoidance is avoiding taxes in the first place. Seeing as how the state created the tax discounts, and the people could overturn it if they wanted, it's not tax evasion by any stretch of the imagination to take advantage of the state offering a discount for keeping trees on land, or for keeping land agricultural.

Would you prefer losing the farm eventually due to taxes than take a discount the state created that the people could overturn if they wanted if they felt it unfair?

Quote:

We pretty much do what's right, but it seems in this state, that isn't what they want. They want houses on these hills so they can tax the heck out of them and keep their coffers filled. We'll get our food from China...or Mexico...or Chilli...instead of here...that is what Al Gore said when he was in office anyway.
Nope, they don't want anyone there at all, they want to drive everyone off and make it a park. At least the radicals attempting to control the government for their own purpose do.

And Gore knows we could never rely on the third world for food...but he's of the ilk that want to kill off most of the world's people (except him of course). So, cut off the food supply, make the once largest exporter of food an importer (we are now), and it fits in with his agenda...
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Old 11-20-2009, 06:13 PM
 
603 posts, read 1,773,481 times
Reputation: 544
This thread is bumming me out!!What taxes are you all talking about that are so high?Like i said i really don't know much about the taxes there except for the excise tax.I've looked at numerous houses(online) that list the property taxes and many of them are well under 2K.I pay 6500 here for a 60x100 lot.My electric bill goes up EVERY time i get a bill.Its up to 260 now for a family of three that basically lives in the dark!If it goes up a lot the next bill they WILL tell me whats going on.Its out of control and CORRUPT.

Maine can't be more expensive then here.



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Old 11-20-2009, 07:20 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
31,148 posts, read 50,323,277 times
Reputation: 19856
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogcrazy View Post
This thread is bumming me out!!What taxes are you all talking about that are so high?Like i said i really don't know much about the taxes there except for the excise tax. I've looked at numerous houses(online) that list the property taxes and many of them are well under 2K. I pay 6500 here for a 60x100 lot. My electric bill goes up EVERY time i get a bill. Its up to 260 now for a family of three that basically lives in the dark! If it goes up a lot the next bill they WILL tell me whats going on. Its out of control and CORRUPT.
When you combine all taxes [Federal, state and town] paid by every one in the state; and divide that by the number of adults in the state; and index that by the average household income; this gives you the 'tax-burden' ratio. The average wages in Maine are low, and Maine has a relatively small population; so this ratio called a 'tax-burden' ends up being high.

It is often interpreted as meaning that Maine's taxes are 'high'.

It is often heard among politicians as the basis for their claim that Maine pays the 'highest' taxes of the entire nation.

It is based on the math-voodoo that is done in calculating this 'tax-burden'. And it is swayed by the fact that Maine is a small population state, and incomes in Maine are low.



The property taxes that folks pay in Maine tend to be much less than they have been in each state where we have lived before moving to Maine. Granted my experiences are limited [I have only owned homes in four other places before moving to Maine]. Your experiences may vary.

Yes I do have land which is in 'Treegrowth' status. It was in 'Treegrowth' status before I moved to Maine. I willingly bought land that was in 'Treegrowth' status. It is a conservation status to protect Maine's forests.

My mil-rates are posted on Maine.gov and I have posted them here before. My town's mil-rates are amazingly low.

I find it difficult to imagine anyone in Maine complaining seriously about their property taxes, when you consider what mil-rates are running in most of the nation. [at least how they do this with a straight face]



Maine is the only state which calls vehicle taxes: 'excise-taxes'. Maine's excise-taxes are lower than what vehicle taxes we have paid in any other place where we have lived. The claim is made that Maine's 'excise-taxes' that are the highest. I do not doubt that they are the highest excise-taxes since Maine is the only state which uses this phrase. Other states have a 'registration tax', or 'vehicle property tax'.



Maine has sales tax. Maine's sales tax is not the highest sales tax, nor the lowest.



Maine has income taxes. Maine's income taxes are not the highest, nor the lowest. I do not earn a high enough income to qualify to pay income taxes, so I honestly can not really complain about Maine's income taxes.



Quote:
... Maine can't be more expensive then here.

If you sold a $100k house, moved to Maine and bought a $1M house on the beach, I could see where your cost-of-living might go up. It is possible.

I moved to Maine and my cost-of-living dropped a great deal.

Maine wages are low.

Maine has very few jobs.

If anyone moved to Maine without a means to support themselves, life might well become very difficult.

IMHO, the problem in trying to prosper in Maine is due to there being very few jobs and the wages being low. It is not due to high taxes, Maine has very low taxes. What Maine is lacking is high-pay jobs.
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