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Old 10-11-2012, 11:06 AM
 
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Is there a positive aspect and benefit (from taxes perspective, cost of living and the housing) from living in NW Indiana if working in Illinois, Chicago for example?
Is there public transport that will help in the daily commute?
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Edmonds, WA
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Default Depends where you live...and where you're working

Quote:
Originally Posted by tacnata View Post
Is there a positive aspect and benefit (from taxes perspective, cost of living and the housing) from living in NW Indiana if working in Illinois, Chicago for example?
Is there public transport that will help in the daily commute?
A lot of the suburbs in Lake County have appeal to Chicagoans because the COL is generally lower. St. John, Dyer, Schererville, Munster in particular have seen a good deal of growth over the last decade as many see them as affordable alternatives to the IL suburbs that are safe and have good schools. The further out you go, however, the more attenuated the benefits become. Once you start talking about farther flung cities like Crown Point, Chesterton, Valparaiso, you're talking about a much longer commute - and for many the cost differential, if any, is outweighed by the daily commute time.
Also note that even closer suburbs like St. John and Munster may not be practical choices if you aren't working downtown or in the south suburbs...

NWI is served by the South Shore commuter rail which goes from South Bend to Millenium Station at Randolph.
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:46 AM
 
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I live in NWI and work in Chicago. There are a lot of people, especially in Lake County and more specifically in the towns that Bluefoxwarrior mentioned above, that work in Illinois. I would venture to guess there are more that work in the south or west suburbs of Chicago than those that actually work in downtown Chicago, but there are a lot of both. Regarding taxes, you file two returns, one to Illinois one to Indiana. Illinois is not a reciprocal state with Indiana, so you have to file two. You just claim certain credits on your Indiana return that keep you from the double taxation. It's pretty easy.

Another perk to living in Indiana is that property taxes on residential properties are capped at 1% of the property's value. In Illinois, I believe most properties are taxed between 2.25%-2.5% of the value. So, living in Indiana can save families thousands of dollars each year in property taxes.

I would also add that in my opinion, while cost of living used to be the main reason for many people moving from the south suburbs to NWI, I think that has changed some over the last decade or two. NWI used to be very inexpensive, but with a lot of these towns growing and becoming more desirable, many of the NWI towns are more costly than several of the Illinois towns that saw so many people leave for Indiana such as Lansing, Hegewisch, South Holland, and so on. Now, the Indiana towns' property values are more costly because they are very desirable towns with good schools, services, and safety. Many of those Illinois towns have seen increased crime, worsening schools, and lower property values in the last several years. So I believe the primary reasons for the move for many has changed from cost of living, to standard of living. I've heard of some people recently leaving the more affluent Chicago suburbs like Tinley Park and Orland Park for NWI towns, and that may still be for COL reasons.
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Old 10-12-2012, 07:43 AM
 
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I agree with everything above. The commute from NWI is no more difficult than from the south suburbs. Property taxes are amazing compared to Illinois. Your car tags are higher in Indiana unless you have a very old car (Illinois has a low flat fee while Indiana has a sliding scale based on your car's value, which goes down every year) but this in no way negates the property tax savings. Indiana has no tax on groceries (IL charges 2%). Gasoline tax is lower but the difference in gas prices between Lake County and Cook County fluctuates wildly week to week for reasons I don't understand. (Sometimes Indiana gas is 20 cents lower, sometimes only 2 cents lower). Cigarettes are much cheaper in Indiana. Prices, of homes, groceries, or whatever are about the same.
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