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New Jersey Suburbs of Philadelphia Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, Salem County in South Jersey
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Old 04-10-2014, 01:11 PM
 
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I have just accepted a two year job working at the Naval Business Center in South Philadelphia. A few people mentioned living in NJ and commuting. We are a family of four with a first grader so schools are a concern. Can you all offer any advice and options for places to live with decent schools and reasonable rent? We need a 3 bedroom place and would like to stay at or below $1500 a month rent. I would also like to limit my commute to 30 minutes or less one way. Also, what are the taxes like in NJ? Any help is appreciated!
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Old 04-10-2014, 02:11 PM
 
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Income taxes can be a PLUS living in NJ when working in Philly.
While Philly has a 3 percent-ish tax, but a reciprocal agreement in NJ means it almost all comes back to you.

Property Taxes, New Jersey is high... but if you are looking to rent it shouldnt matter as that is all baked into the rent.
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Old 04-10-2014, 02:16 PM
 
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NJ is a good option for you, because there are many good towns just over the Walt Whitman Bridge (past Camden!) that would work, and if you timed your commute properly is a very quick drive in

From more blue collar but safe towns (Bellmawr).
Next tier towns (Audubon).
and upper tier (Haddonfield, Cherry Hill).

Bellmawr for example (which I selfishly and more aware of) has many 4 br homes, nice neighborhoods (my wife walks at night with no problems), and decent schools. Honestly we arent cranking out a ton of rocket scientists but the schools aren't awful.
I know that $1500 price is right at the Bellmawr level... because I lived there most of my life.

Things go up from there
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Old 04-10-2014, 02:26 PM
 
Location: Mount Laurel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bellmark View Post
Income taxes can be a PLUS living in NJ when working in Philly.
While Philly has a 3 percent-ish tax, but a reciprocal agreement in NJ means it almost all comes back to you.

Property Taxes, New Jersey is high... but if you are looking to rent it shouldnt matter as that is all baked into the rent.
Any city wage tax you pay to Philadelphia is gone. You are not going to see a refund. It's very similiar to NJ state tax. What does it mean? You will be paying less tax living in NJ than PA if you work in the city.
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Old 04-10-2014, 02:44 PM
 
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let me clarify..
You are correct that Philadelphia takes its money no matter what.
But, a New Jersey resident receives credit for that money paid.
No credit if you live in PA.

The way I always understood it.
1) Work in Philly, live in NJ... Pay the Philly tax but its credited against NJ. Somewhat paying once.
2) Work in Philly, live in PA... Pay the philly tax AND the PA tax. paying for both

can someone clarify my clarification?

Please consult a qualified tax professional. :-)
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:39 PM
 
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Thank you so much for the advice. I will look into Bellmawr. I had looked at Haddingfield and Cherry Hill some and they did seem pretty expensive.
As far as taxes go it sounds like NJ would have a little benefit. I plan to consult an accountant anyway because I will be an independent contractor so all of my taxes will be on me : )
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:48 PM
 
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One more quick question please. Is there an extended stay/weekly hotel in the area mentioned above? I plan to stay a month on my own before moving my family up so I wanted to try a place like Extended Stay America or something as a start so I don't have to stress about finding a place right away. I figure you all might know the good clean ones, thanks!
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Old 04-11-2014, 06:44 AM
 
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Other places to see if you can get a 1500 rent

Collingswood is becoming a premier community that may have homes in your range. Above avg schools. A fully revitalized 50s style main street that is several blocks long. Patco train to Philly also...could ride in, hop on septa, and be at work. look into it.
Haddon Twp (many areas close to collingswood. train too)
Barrington
Haddon Heights
Runnemede is similar to Bellmawr. (although I detest the black horse pike traffic)

Gloucester County has a bunch of options too.
Deptford is a complete mix of older blue collar neighborhoods, and new construction.
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Old 04-11-2014, 06:59 AM
 
Location: Mount Laurel
4,187 posts, read 11,171,280 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMac8 View Post
Thank you so much for the advice. I will look into Bellmawr. I had looked at Haddingfield and Cherry Hill some and they did seem pretty expensive.
As far as taxes go it sounds like NJ would have a little benefit. I plan to consult an accountant anyway because I will be an independent contractor so all of my taxes will be on me : )
That will put a spin on the tax issue. Definitely consult with tax professional because you need to figure out what category you will be falling into. Are you going to be consider an employee or is this going to be non-employee compensation? Is the employer treating you as an indepdentent contractor and will be issuing 1099? If so, you need to apply for a Business Priviledge License to work in the city. It's a $50 annually or $300 for one time. Your employer may not be withholding city wage tax either so you are responsible for taking care of that.

If you are consider an employee, then this is what should happens.

Payroll should not withhold PA state income tax (Reciprocal Income Tax)
Request payroll not to withhold your NJ state tax either (you will be claiming credit for having paying to Philadelphia city wage tax)
City Wage tax is withhold


At the end of the year, the amount of city wage tax your paid to Philadelphia is usually greater than what you would owe to NJ so you will end up not owing any NJ state tax but you will not be getting any excess back because this is only a credit, not a refund.

There is an Extended Stay in Mt. Laurel.
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Old 04-11-2014, 08:15 AM
 
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I will be a 1099 independent consultant. I am going to set up a meeting with an accountant next week to start gathering further information on my tax situation. I will show them your comments SJ for reference. It is likely I will have to consult an accountant in PA as well.
Bell, thank you for the additional options. I should have time to visit several areas before deciding on a final spot so I will keep a list.
I really appreciate the advice and help! Moving to a new area can be tough so having some insight from people in the area is valuable, thanks!
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