U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Wisconsin
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 02-10-2014, 05:41 PM
 
Location: IN
20,847 posts, read 35,942,861 times
Reputation: 13287

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by northbound74 View Post
I don't know that it affects quality of life that much, but if you're from a lower-tax state, the sticker shock will be an adjustment for sure.
The taxes on our house where we moved from was 800 a year. Similar house, similar neighborhood in Milwaukee burbs? Over 4000. Before somebody says, "they get their money somehow", um, no. Taxes and fees were substantially cheaper across the board. So was real estate.
Seems like a lot of things were a little more expensive in Wisconsin than where we were from. I think the taxes and regulations had a lot to do with that. Problem was, the wages were the same. So in our case, the spare change we would have had otherwise simply wasn't there. But, everyone's situation is different. Coming from some other states, Wisconsin might seem not so bad or perhaps even a bargain.
The VAST majority of the areas in the US that have the LOWEST property taxes also have very poor levels of educational attainment, in very rural areas of the country, or a net receiver of federal tax dollars- mostly the taker states. The cost of living is moderate here compared to COASTAL areas that I moved from. If you want low cost of living and everything that goes along with it, both pro and con, go move back to the South. I have NO interest in moving back further to the south because the I feel this area operates at an elevated level with a work ethic you just won't find easily or at all elsewhere. Oh, they actually know how to clear the roads of snow in a timely manner here unlike those other areas that claim to be in the "Midwest" yet freak out over 2 inches of snowfall.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-11-2014, 03:50 AM
 
5,551 posts, read 6,979,053 times
Reputation: 2796
Quote:
Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
Oh, they actually know how to clear the roads of snow in a timely manner here unlike those other areas that claim to be in the "Midwest" yet freak out over 2 inches of snowfall.
That sounds like Cincinnati, Oh.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-11-2014, 08:18 AM
 
Location: IN
20,847 posts, read 35,942,861 times
Reputation: 13287
Quote:
Originally Posted by ram2 View Post
That sounds like Cincinnati, Oh.
That is correct or the first 5+ storms of the season in Kansas City.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-11-2014, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Bay View, Milwaukee
2,169 posts, read 4,195,479 times
Reputation: 2707
Technically, it's the property tax rate that's high, but for many that translates into high property taxes (actual outlay). From what I remember reading (in a report I posted somewhere in this subforum), property taxes (and rates) are high in Wisconsin primarily because of winter expenses (plowing, road repairing, etc.), K-12 costs, and the tech colleges. In another source (sorry, don't remember it) I read that Wisconsin has a relatively high number of highway miles per resident, which probably also explains part of the differential.

In the Milwaukee area, if you want a reasonably sized house in a reasonably safe neighborhood, the value of the house will be high, and the taxes will reflect that. In contrast to many other cities, there just aren't a lot of desirable neighborhoods in the Milwaukee area with houses under $100,000 in value, and the $100,000-150,000 range can be iffy. The more expensive houses tend to be clustered in specific, high-demand neighborhoods and suburbs; apparently, people are willing to pay more for a house and taxes to be in an assuredly "safe" neighborhood rather than take a gamble on less expensive places that do not have such a solid reputation (and yes, these choices reflect race and class issues). This happens in all metros, of course, but in Milwaukee--which is already considered a rather segregated metro--it's particularly bad: if house prices fall closer to $100,000 and below, buyers ask "What's wrong with this place?" Even though a $100,000 house will generate relatively lower tax payments, people still fall all over themselves to buy houses on the East Side, Shorewood, Whitefish Bay, etc.

If more people were willing to buy smaller houses and houses in less desirable/prestigious neighborhoods, they would have lower property taxes. Of course, if too many people do that for a specific neighborhood, then house values will rise and taxes paid will increase accordingly. Such shifts do occur--Walker's Point and Brewer's Hill are examples of less spendy places that have become a bit more expensive, and Concordia is an example of a neighborhood with fine houses but still an iffy rep.

Ultimately, though my taxes paid are relatively high, I'm not particularly bothered by the expense. I know that if we had bought a smaller house, we could have saved $2000 or so per year in taxes. But then again, our house came with a 2-car garage, office space, proximity to public transport, closer proximity to work, proximity to parks and such, and other things that a smaller or more remote house could not have provided, so it's pretty much a trade-off.

Paying the higher taxes means that our quality of life is higher in certain areas (convenience, space, etc.), but lower in others (less cash for saving, spending, and investing).

Last edited by Empidonax; 02-11-2014 at 11:56 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-15-2014, 07:12 AM
 
3,326 posts, read 7,748,562 times
Reputation: 1967
Quote:
Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
The VAST majority of the areas in the US that have the LOWEST property taxes also have very poor levels of educational attainment, in very rural areas of the country, or a net receiver of federal tax dollars- mostly the taker states. The cost of living is moderate here compared to COASTAL areas that I moved from. If you want low cost of living and everything that goes along with it, both pro and con, go move back to the South. I have NO interest in moving back further to the south because the I feel this area operates at an elevated level with a work ethic you just won't find easily or at all elsewhere. Oh, they actually know how to clear the roads of snow in a timely manner here unlike those other areas that claim to be in the "Midwest" yet freak out over 2 inches of snowfall.
I went to both public and private high schools in the south. You absolutely can get a good education down there. It's up to you and your parents, not the elaborate pension plan of the highly dedicated teacher.
High taxes and high spending aren't the cause of quality education. However, those things can be the result of the emphasis put on education. This is my theory for Wisconsin. The culture values education, therefore it is supported in many ways, including financial. Lower the taxes a little, cut back a little, Wisconsin schools will still be among the best because of the culture surrounding it.
For what it's worth, the south isn't as broken as people try to make it sound, but it can be a bit hard to understand if you're not from there....just like Wisconsin and the rest of the north.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-15-2014, 07:20 AM
 
3,326 posts, read 7,748,562 times
Reputation: 1967
Quote:
Originally Posted by Empidonax View Post
Technically, it's the property tax rate that's high, but for many that translates into high property taxes (actual outlay). From what I remember reading (in a report I posted somewhere in this subforum), property taxes (and rates) are high in Wisconsin primarily because of winter expenses (plowing, road repairing, etc.), K-12 costs, and the tech colleges. In another source (sorry, don't remember it) I read that Wisconsin has a relatively high number of highway miles per resident, which probably also explains part of the differential.

In the Milwaukee area, if you want a reasonably sized house in a reasonably safe neighborhood, the value of the house will be high, and the taxes will reflect that. In contrast to many other cities, there just aren't a lot of desirable neighborhoods in the Milwaukee area with houses under $100,000 in value, and the $100,000-150,000 range can be iffy. The more expensive houses tend to be clustered in specific, high-demand neighborhoods and suburbs; apparently, people are willing to pay more for a house and taxes to be in an assuredly "safe" neighborhood rather than take a gamble on less expensive places that do not have such a solid reputation (and yes, these choices reflect race and class issues). This happens in all metros, of course, but in Milwaukee--which is already considered a rather segregated metro--it's particularly bad: if house prices fall closer to $100,000 and below, buyers ask "What's wrong with this place?" Even though a $100,000 house will generate relatively lower tax payments, people still fall all over themselves to buy houses on the East Side, Shorewood, Whitefish Bay, etc.

If more people were willing to buy smaller houses and houses in less desirable/prestigious neighborhoods, they would have lower property taxes. Of course, if too many people do that for a specific neighborhood, then house values will rise and taxes paid will increase accordingly. Such shifts do occur--Walker's Point and Brewer's Hill are examples of less spendy places that have become a bit more expensive, and Concordia is an example of a neighborhood with fine houses but still an iffy rep.

Ultimately, though my taxes paid are relatively high, I'm not particularly bothered by the expense. I know that if we had bought a smaller house, we could have saved $2000 or so per year in taxes. But then again, our house came with a 2-car garage, office space, proximity to public transport, closer proximity to work, proximity to parks and such, and other things that a smaller or more remote house could not have provided, so it's pretty much a trade-off.

Paying the higher taxes means that our quality of life is higher in certain areas (convenience, space, etc.), but lower in others (less cash for saving, spending, and investing).
I kind of get what you're saying, but compared to other places I've lived, Milwaukee folks are much more likely to live in those smaller, cheaper houses. It has a lot more older, stable blue-collar neighborhoods than what I'm used to.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-15-2014, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Portland OR
1,924 posts, read 2,777,811 times
Reputation: 2461
To OP's original question - The question is very difficult to answer as I think "Quality of Life" goes way beyond taxes.
For your situation, I think the better questions are:
1) Which opportunity has most long term potiential?
2) Which opportunity is closer to what you really want to do?
3) Which location suits your needs best for weather, proximity to activities, kids schools, culture you like, etc.

We have lived in 3 states (WI/IL/OR), none of which could be considered low tax states. Can't say different tax rates affected QOL. IN the end, everything kind of evened out. It also helps to make more $ when a new opportunity arises.

Good luck with decision but I would not let this particular question be your deciding factor.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-15-2014, 07:07 PM
 
Location: IN
20,847 posts, read 35,942,861 times
Reputation: 13287
Quote:
Originally Posted by northbound74 View Post
I went to both public and private high schools in the south. You absolutely can get a good education down there. It's up to you and your parents, not the elaborate pension plan of the highly dedicated teacher.
High taxes and high spending aren't the cause of quality education. However, those things can be the result of the emphasis put on education. This is my theory for Wisconsin. The culture values education, therefore it is supported in many ways, including financial. Lower the taxes a little, cut back a little, Wisconsin schools will still be among the best because of the culture surrounding it.
For what it's worth, the south isn't as broken as people try to make it sound, but it can be a bit hard to understand if you're not from there....just like Wisconsin and the rest of the north.
I don't disagree that parenting is a crucial key to success...
However, that does not diminish the overall lower educational attainment across the board in most areas of the South outside of the largest cities. Some of it is generational as the very oldest are now passing on and younger residents are more educated, but the transition lags behind the rest of the country.
I also agree that it is extremely important for the prevailing culture to place a high value on education. You can't just keep cutting funding for education across the board to try to bring everything down to the lowest common denominator to compete with very low cost states with lower educational attainment levels. That is why "some" manufacturing jobs have moved to the South because they have found conditions that have met their requirements... Other areas of the US that are high skilled with higher costs simply have to continue to invest in the necessary areas like technology, biomedical, healthcare, engineering, etc. in order to retain competitive advantages and attract high end human capital to meet the necessary objectives.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-16-2014, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Sector 001
7,242 posts, read 6,464,296 times
Reputation: 8290
I haven't been to every state mind you but there are things WI has that some states don't for it's high taxes such as most of the roads in the state being paved, good state park system, decent schools, etc.

In eastern South Dakota property taxes are similar to WI but no state income tax. You can tell there is no state income tax though... all the roads are gravel, not much to do on a state level.. rather rural and desolate area by comparison... the roads they do pave in new constructions rather than construct a proper sewer system they use 'dips' in the roads out here where rainwater flows over and across the road during rain... these dips can bottom out your vehicle if you do not slow down for them. Some subdivisions with newer constructions are constructed on gravel roads entirely (yuck)

Given the choice I'll save $3000 per year not paying a state income tax and just take road trips to the areas where there are taxes and use the services that way, however I do miss eastern WI. If jobs still paid living wages and not $10-12 per hour I'd consider moving back. It's only limited access to $20/hour work for someone without a college education that keeps me living at my current location.... making 20 bucks an hour.

Sometimes I wonder how populated areas in the south can get by on such low property tax rates.. I've never really visited these areas for any period of time.. but I suppose if they have a state income tax they get by.. and FL just has tourist dollars along with massive overpopulation that gets worse by the year, a reason I won't move there.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-16-2014, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Mequon, WI
7,835 posts, read 19,567,727 times
Reputation: 4430
Top 10 cities with the highest tax rates

#3 Milwaukee

"Like a number of other cities with high tax load, Milwaukee residents faced especially high property tax burdens. The effective property tax rate in the city was 3%, higher than all but a few regions reviewed. Also driving up taxes were the especially high income tax burdens in the city. The state used a graduated income tax system, meaning tax rates are higher for families that earn more, although Milwaukee had no local income taxes.In 2013, the state reformed its tax code, lowering the highest rate as well as the number of overall tax brackets. Governor Scott Walker recently pushed the state assembly to cut both property taxes and and the income tax rate for the state's lowest tax bracket."
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Wisconsin
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top