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Old 10-06-2013, 09:49 PM
 
Location: Idaho
6,354 posts, read 7,759,280 times
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It has been frequently cited that the overall cost-of-living in Idaho is less than it is in Wyoming. Wyoming has a very resident-friendly tax structure. Tax-wise, just about every tax in WY is less than the equivalent tax in ID. Assuming that a house costs the same in each state, why is it said that the cost-of-living is less in Idaho? Thanks.
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Coeur d'Alene Idaho
98 posts, read 233,130 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volosong View Post
It has been frequently cited that the overall cost-of-living in Idaho is less than it is in Wyoming. Wyoming has a very resident-friendly tax structure. Tax-wise, just about every tax in WY is less than the equivalent tax in ID. Assuming that a house costs the same in each state, why is it said that the cost-of-living is less in Idaho? Thanks.
All I know is that when traveling from CT to Idaho and back Wyoming had some of the most expensive lodging options. It caught me off guard as I thought the costs of hotels would decrease the further west I got, it almost seemed the opposite.

Also, there is a decent amount of wealth in Wyoming due to the tax structure and the proximity to some beautiful areas. Prices of things are largely inflated to capitalize on that.
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Old 10-07-2013, 12:05 PM
 
332 posts, read 482,785 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volosong View Post
... Assuming that a house costs the same in each state, why is it said that the cost-of-living is less in Idaho?
That's a big assumption, and probably incorrect. Also, cost of living expenses include the cost of groceries, fuel, utilities, etc. In order to accurately compare two places, you have to evaluate EVERY monthly expense, not just taxes. And the tax structure itself dictates different costs depending on your income level and source of income. It truly is a calculation unique to each household.
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Old 10-07-2013, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
29,212 posts, read 22,344,773 times
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States always find was to create taxes. Wyoming is like Alaska, as much of it's revenue comes from depletion taxes, but depletion taxes aren't enough to keep the state running without other taxes. I'm not familiar with Wyoming's tax structure, but without doubt, the state has ways to raise the revenue it needs, and some of the ways may take a big bite all at once.

Montana also used depletion taxes for most of 100 years, but their main sources- copper and other metals and logging- have now come very close to running out. As a result, Montana nails it's residents to the wall on licenses, property taxes, and everything they have, as they have no state income or sales tax. The depletion taxes once constituted their biggest source of revenue, but Montana is loathe to adopt income and sales taxes- they're not part of their traditions.

Sales tax raises revenue a nibble at a time, a less painful way of taxation. As long as state income taxes are much lower than federal income taxes, they are less painful as well. But when a new set of license plates for a car costs as much as $3,000 for a new luxury SUV, Montanan howl. Their license plates are blue-booked to the value of their vehicle. This means that a new $40,000 car will end up costing much more than a single one-pay sales tax on it.
There are also local surcharges that a city or county can levy in Montana. One surcharge I know is in Gallatin County, where all the gas costs 10¢ more than neighboring Park county. The tax is spent on county roads.

Wyoming may or may not be doing the same; I don't know. But I do know that despite our relatively high tax burden we bear in comparison to some of our neighboring states, Idahoans tend to keep more of their income overall, with less societal friction over our taxes.

I mention Montana because I lived there twice. Living in Idaho is cheaper. The reasons why this is so are complicated. Cheaper taxes, like cheaper housing costs, are only parts of the picture.
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Old 10-07-2013, 03:52 PM
 
Location: Idaho
6,354 posts, read 7,759,280 times
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Thanks for the thoughts. One correction, banjomike. Montana does have a personal income tax. As concerns a retiree, they tax all pension income as well as social security income. (At least according to the several retiree web sites I've seen.) Kiplinger for example, lists Wyoming as being very tax-friendly, Montana as being one of the least tax-friendly, and Idaho as being slightly tax friendly. I'm sure my lady friend would love for me to come to Montana, but except for not having a sales tax, all other taxes are pretty high.

I'll keep investigating. As a retiree, my income will be a lot less than now, so cost-of-living and taxes paid affect one's quality-of-life. In checking real estate, disregarding the "special" places like Hailey/Sun Valley, Coeur d'Alene, Jackson, Cody, etc.; house prices are pretty much equivalent. Climate is similar, so one would expect heating/cooling costs to be similar, (depending on local energy supply agencies).

Thanks again.
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
29,212 posts, read 22,344,773 times
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Good luck in your search, volosong.
Taking your time is really the key, I think. The more you come to know a bout a place the better able you are to determine how well it fits you and vice versa.
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:11 PM
 
8,440 posts, read 13,431,476 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volosong View Post
Thanks for the thoughts. One correction, banjomike. Montana does have a personal income tax. As concerns a retiree, they tax all pension income as well as social security income. (At least according to the several retiree web sites I've seen.) Kiplinger for example, lists Wyoming as being very tax-friendly, Montana as being one of the least tax-friendly, and Idaho as being slightly tax friendly. I'm sure my lady friend would love for me to come to Montana, but except for not having a sales tax, all other taxes are pretty high.

I'll keep investigating. As a retiree, my income will be a lot less than now, so cost-of-living and taxes paid affect one's quality-of-life. In checking real estate, disregarding the "special" places like Hailey/Sun Valley, Coeur d'Alene, Jackson, Cody, etc.; house prices are pretty much equivalent. Climate is similar, so one would expect heating/cooling costs to be similar, (depending on local energy supply agencies).

Thanks again.
Visit locations if possible. There are cultural differences between the three states.

MSR
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Old 10-12-2013, 11:51 PM
 
Location: Idaho
6,354 posts, read 7,759,280 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtn. States Resident View Post
Visit locations if possible. There are cultural differences between the three states.

MSR
You're right. Have been. Spent some time this past April in WY, MT, and ID, but that was mostly for playtime. I wanted to visit my grandparents and great-grandparents graves in Payette and Hailey, but just ran out of time. I'll be coming up again the second or third week of December. Already asked for the time off from the overseer.

My plan for this trip is to spend more time in Thermopolis and take a closer look at Cody, but I really don't expect to settle down in Cody. Also Worland and Powell. Maybe Greybull and Lovell, but my heart wants to be closer to the hills. Then on up to Three Forks to visit a lady friend. On the way back, I want to take a closer look at some towns in the northeast part of Idaho, (close to WY and southern MT near Jellystone).

Good thing I have an AWD vehicle. Just need to remember to pack the chains and my x-country skis. Nix the bicycle this time.


So . . . MSR. What, in your opinion, are the cultural differences between WY and ID? (MT really isn't in the mix as a retirement place.) I know WY from my geology field work days, but other than the religious influence in southeast ID, (not saying that it is "good" or "bad" ... it is what it is), I'm pretty ignorant of the culture in ID.
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