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Thread: Low Tax Locations

  1. #1
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    Low Tax Locations

    I'm a planner working in Australia at the moment, although I feel that the tax burden is increasingly high here, and I'm considering moving to a lower taxing location once I've finished my degree.

    I've looked at the Republic of Ireland and one of the US states without income tax (I know Nevada is one), are there any others?

    If anyone could tell me about the job prospects for planners in these or any other low taxing locations I would be very grateful.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    In the US several states do not levy income taxes and some states do charge sales tax. The state with no income tax are: Alaska, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. Both New Hampshire and Tennessee tax dividend and interest income. Florida has an intangible tax which taxes investments.

    States without sales tax are Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon. From what I understand some of these states do charge a tax on certain items ( which states and what transactions I am unsure.)

    Keep in mind that the states will make up the loss or revenue in other methods such as high property taxes, ( New Hampshire) or are not desireable places to live (Alaska.)

    Nevada is an inexpensive place to live. LV property prices hae sky rocketed and the sprawl is out of control but the climate is great ( if you like the desert) and it has many of the big city amenties ( great restuarants, entertainment but is lacking in professional sports.)

    Best of luck.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  3. #3
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    another tax to look at is the sales tax this varies greatly from state to state, or in some cases within regions of a state. Some states with low income taxes make this back (and more) though sales taxes. This is particularly a popular way of taxing tourist-based economies.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  4. #4
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Of all the places I live, I found the right balance of low taxes (income and real property) and reasonable real estate prices in New Mexico.

    Here in suburban Cleveland, Ohio, the annual property tax on my house increased by $1,200 earlier this year. Still nowhere near New York levels, but quite a bump. My budget next year will be painful.

    In the US, you often get what you pay for. For example, property taxes in the Buffalo, New York area are the highest in the country, but the public schools are among the best in the nation; even schools in poor inner city neighborhoods are pretty good. The government workforce is highly unionized, and the pay and benefits public workers receive are simply amazing; unfortunately, it contributes to the region's huge tax burden. (I believe public employees in Erie County even have free elective cosmetic surgery as a benefit!)

    In Ireland, outrageously high real estate prices will consume far more of your income than you would gain through tax relief.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    http://www.retirementliving.com/RLtaxburdens.html

    Here is a good table showing tax burden as a percentage of average income for each U.S. state.

    The data used for the calculations may be out of date, but as you can, see the states with the lowest burden are:
    Alaska
    New Hampshire
    Delaware
    Tennessee

    The highest are:
    Maine
    New York
    Ohio
    Minnesota

    As you can see, "Taxachusetts" is actually pretty much in the middle with quite a few Southern and Western states that are often mistakenly touted as low tax states.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jmello View post
    http://www.retirementliving.com/RLtaxburdens.html

    Here is a good table showing tax burden as a percentage of average income for each U.S. state.

    The data used for the calculations may be out of date, but as you can, see the states with the lowest burden are:
    Alaska
    New Hampshire
    Delaware
    Tennessee

    The highest are:
    Maine
    New York
    Ohio
    Minnesota

    As you can see, "Taxachusetts" is actually pretty much in the middle with quite a few Southern and Western states that are often mistakenly touted as low tax states.
    Florida is definitely a low tax/low service state. surprised to see Georgia be that high, what other southern states were you referring to?

  7. #7
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    While NH may not have sales or income tax, property taxes vary widely by community, and are the primary means for local government raising revenue, and change yearly based on tax rates and updated property assessments.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  8. #8
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    Florida is definitely a low tax/low service state. surprised to see Georgia be that high, what other southern states were you referring to?
    Georgia and the Carolinas, why?

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    The state legislature here in Georgia is apparently going to look at some major changes in the tax code next year - this is from today's Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

    Among those ideas is a proposal to switch to a flat [income] tax in which people are taxed at the same rate regardless of their income levels. The speaker also discussed the idea of eliminating property taxes and replacing them with sales taxes on all goods and services. And he talked about eliminating the state income tax altogether and making up the loss in state revenue by wiping out certain sales tax exemptions.
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

  10. #10
    Cyburbian gicarto's avatar
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    Warning: low taxes may mean higher insurance between states

    One thing I have noticed about living in a state with no income taxes (Florida) and high tax states like Iowa and Wisconsin, insurance (driver's and health) rates and other costs are lower in the high tax states. I think in the US low tax and high tax states are about even with the amount of money you actually pay for all the services you need.


    Please forget what I wrote above. I forgot about Maine which has very high taxes and high insurance!
    Trying to get my grubby hands on as much stimulus money as I can.:D

  11. #11
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by gicarto View post
    Please forget what I wrote above. I forgot about Maine which has very high taxes and high insurance!
    Yeah...what connection could there possibly be between taxes (low or high) and insurance rates (low or high)?
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  12. #12
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Well in Detroit I have cheap property taxes and high insurance rates. However due to the oddball way proposal A is set up, if I re-bought my house today my prop taxes would triple!
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  13. #13
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by gicarto View post

    Please forget what I wrote above. I forgot about Maine which has very high taxes and high insurance!
    Don't forget Massachusetts either.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    Don't forget Massachusetts either.
    The taxes are not high in Massachusetts, they are about average.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    As someone who has lived in Texas (no income tax), Washington state (no income tax), Georgia, California, and Kansas, I would like to suggest that low taxes should not be one's ONLY criteria for selecting a place to live. When we moved from Kansas to Washington state, I was shocked by the cost of living (then I moved to California and Washington looked cheap by comparison ). Articles I have read indicate that higher salaries in various places often mostly reflect the higher cost of living locally. At least one Cyburbian turned down a job offer in California because the cost of living there meant that he would have had a de facto pay cut, in spite of a substantially higher salary, if he had accepted the job.

    For many years (before the wonders of the internet), I frequently bought both a "Places Rated" guide and a colleges rated type book for the U.S. These days, I have various favorite websites that I visit when contemplating where I might like to live, assuming I ever have any real choice in the matter. Currently, some of the things I look at are:
    Best Places You can compare all kinds of statistics about places in the U.S. and it has a cost of living calculator, where you can compare cost of living between two places.
    Score Card All kinds of environmental data about places in the U.S. (which matters to me due to having serious respiratory problems, which get easily aggravated by air pollution, etc).
    Also due to my respiratory problems, I have been known to look at websites with data about pollen, common plants that people may be allergic to (like ragweed), etc.

    I am not discouraging you from looking at low taxes as one factor. I am only suggesting that after you figure out which places have adequately low taxes to make you happy, that you also look at other data (such as climate, cost of living, and "amenities" -- which could mean a big city or it could mean lots of wilderness for camping in or something else entirely, depending upon your personal lifestyle preferences).

  16. #16
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    Thanks for all the comments here.

    I'm mainly concerned about income taxes, other taxes don't mean as much to me. Renting would be an option instead of buying a house and I'm a pretty big saver so I'm not too worried about higher sales taxes.

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