Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Kirk Wood

How does your state rate for taxes?

Recommended Posts

Not surprisingly, NY State ranks dead last on the Forbes list, and I often get asked why we continue to keep our domicile there when there are other more favorable tax states for RV'ers like FL, SD, or TX. The fact is, our income is structured such that we haven't paid any significant state or federal income taxes in the last 12 years, and keeping our domicile in NY reduces the school and property taxes on our little upstate vacation cottage by almost 50% using the various senior citizens and military service exemptions available to NY residents. And NY has no personal property, wheel tax, etc. In addition, non-commercial vehicle registrations in NY are very reasonable with a weight based maximum yearly fee of $70. Vehicle insurance in our rural area also compares well with the rates in the full-time RV'er friendly states. All in all, we just haven't found sufficient reason to change our domicile out of NY so far.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well you have to factor in many different kinds of taxes. Income tax is always thought of first but you also need to figure in property tax, sales tax, fuel tax, DMV registration tax, and although not a tax but still a cost factor which varies by state and zip code within a state your vehicle insurance and health insurance costs. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Dutch_12078 said:

All in all, we just haven't found sufficient reason to change our domicile out of NY so far.

There can be overriding reasons to choose any state no matter how accurate the magazines may be. Many RV folks just change domicile on paper with no intention of ever actually living in the new location and in the rare event of a legal challenge, could have difficulty supporting that they really did change. I posted the link because it has good information but no single answer to any question asked is ever the best for everyone. We chose to domicile in TX, not because it was cheapest but because it was best for us. 

Here is another interesting article, Kiplinger's 15 Worst States to Live in for Retirement

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Kirk Wood said:

We chose to domicile in TX, not because it was cheapest but because it was best for us. 

Here is another interesting article, Kiplinger's 15 Worst States to Live in for Retirement

Exactly, Kirk, there's no one right answer for everyone. The linked article once again makes the case against NY for retirees based on taxes and cost of living, but also notes that the NY City area skews the numbers greatly. Since our domicile is in a very rural upstate area, the cost of living is much lower than the skewed "average" numbers. And of course as mobile RV'ers, we don't spend a lot of time there anyway, so we're more subject to the sales taxes and living costs wherever we happen to be at any given time. That said, we are in upstate NY right now spending the holidays with our kids, grandkids, and great grandkids, but given the current near 0 deg F. cold snap, we're VERY much looking forward to heading south next week! ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have two friends who own homes in upstate NY. They are both getting ready to retire and their real estate taxes are over $10,000 per year. The homes are between 2,000 and 2,200 sq ft. They both have nice finished basements that are not included in the sq footage. Both are looking to sell and move because of the taxes. They say that they can't afford to stay there. I am very sure that they will end up in South Florida just like lots of people from the northeast. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know where your friends are located in upstate NY, but we downsized when we sold our 1,800 sg ft mountaintop home, retaining only our lakefront vacation cottage that's been "right sized" and remodeled for year round use by the two of us at 660 sq ft. on 2 acres. Our combined school and property taxes with our seniors and veterans exemptions come in at just ~$1600 annually. As I said earlier, income taxes are not an issue for us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have to agree with Dutch - I have a 1200 sq ft house on the shore of Lake Ontario in a small town in upstate NY, and with the senior exemptions, Viet Nam Combat exemption my combined property & school taxes are under $2000, and with a pension from a state university, no NY state income tax.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those charts are worthless as there are so many other costs to factor in and it is very difficult to figure out. I'm still working on a spread sheet with 3 or 4 states that are possible landing sites for us. Overall Texas keeps coming out on top but there is no cool summer mountain top for us so wintering is as good as it gets.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, accumack said:

Those charts are worthless as there are so many other costs to factor in and it is very difficult to figure out.

I don't know that I agree with worthless, but they sure are not a good single consideration. When you look at them they are an average of all locations in the particular state and most are averaged by the number of people, not the physical locations. That means that the weight of the average is to the high population areas, which is valid to some since the cities are big because most people go to them but it also means that they will be inaccurate for rural areas, probably for all states. 

On the other hand, it does give a trend for some tax research or to possibly eliminate some areas. No matter where you consider, the cities will be quite different than the most rural of areas. 

Here is a very different approach, in Work & Money's effort to give the best and worst 10 states.  No matter what the source is, a person would be pretty foolish to move based on only one source. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Look at number two on Kirk's latest list. We are more likely to buy in "The Springs"than Denver for a lot of reasons not the least of which are taxes. The Rocky Mountain High results in longer healthier lifespans.

We aren't new to the area either having lived on the AF Academy for three years. In view of recent scientific studies we both want out of the heat, and now prefer to be further inland than we'd planned.

We had a blast full timing, and then doing the work on our 5 acres. We have more money than ever with our expenses paid from military retirement and SS alone and our investments never need be touched. The property we just sold with solar and a new well was sold three days after two people started bidding it up. We expect the same when we sell ours. They both have location.benefits many miss and then have to fight traffic.

Then we are going to Colorado, put what's left in storage, and get a small apartment to hunt from to find our perfect area and house.

Once you settle on a state, there's lots more to see and consider for each area. See we don't need to work which frees us from urban/suburban areas.

We prefer to be across town from a base with a clinic and commissary like where we are now, ten miles from Barksdale AFB. Jack, we are looking at Woodland Park too! That is a side benefit of spending our early years as "Brats," the doing a 27 year career of our own. We are also looking at civil service positions in USAFE. Perhaps move to Europe. S. America as originally planned is out due to the science predicting the heat will become unbearable in the next 20 years. I won't care but I'd like my sons to have a paid property and houses if they wish. And please, if you think science is political show me your facts, not your politics. Science requires labs, equipment, and the education to know how to use them. See, the search for our forever home, includes planning for near and medium term climate changes.

Here's the NASA climate page with the scientific, consensus: https://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/

It does take research an peer reviewed science to plan any time into our future.

Edited by RV_

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We prefer privacy and and enjoy mountain life in the summer.  We have 140 acres in Colorado that we lease for some grazing that helps to keep our taxes low ($110).  We also use it for our recreation and summer getaway. We may even build a house there.  For times when our land is not enough it backs up to BLM and the National Forest is only 2 miles away.  Everyone' preference is not the same.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×