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Best and Worst Places to Live and Pay Taxes

     Just as there are great cars and okay cars, and great restaurants and okay restaurants, when it comes to your finances there are okay places to live and great places to live. All states are not created equal when it comes to how quickly you'll see your hard earned income taken from you by taxes. Remember a dollar saved is a dollar earned. A person who didn't have to pay 11 percent in state income tax just received an 11 percent return on their income without even moving a muscle. The same holds true on sales tax. Do you live in a state with a high sales tax or no sales tax at all? Car registration can also take you to the cleaners. Does your state base car registration on vehicle weight and thus a Jaguar costs as little to register as a Taurus, or does your state base car registration on the value of the car. That's nasty if you enjoy a Benz, BMW, or Porsche. If you want to build a castle there are some states where it won't cost more than pocket change for property taxes and in other states you'd had better have just won the lottery to pay your tax bill. You can actually spend four times as much on property taxes each year in some states as you can in others. With a $100,000 salary and the exact same mix of other income and assets, in one tax-hungry state you will pay $31,000 in annual taxes where in another tax-friendly state you will pay less than $8,000. WOW!!

    Individuals go through stages in their lives. There are times when your income may be high and your assets are accumulating. After retirement you'll probably have no salary but your assets and investment income may be substantial. There is a time in life when you'd rather pay lower sales tax on the big-ticket item you want and you don't care if senior citizens get prescriptions tax-free. Which states offer the best deals and which states are actually worth the trouble and expense to leave? In one region of the U.S. virtually every state gets an almost failing grade on taxes, and in another region almost every state earns high marks for how little you will pay in taxes. Next week we will name names and look at some of the different ways you can save (or keep) a substantial amount of money. Call the moving company and we'll give you the driving directions to your destination in next week's research report.

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