Showing posts with label states. Show all posts
Showing posts with label states. Show all posts

Friday, January 28, 2011

50 States of Shame

This was just too good not to post. I also appreciate that it takes a shot, in some form or another at every state. Note that Idaho's 'weakest government influence' is about their congressional clout or lack theirof not government influence on people's lives.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

quote of the day

"It's time for this state and the country to start living within it's means."
I am not going to say which state he is talking about but it applies to pretty much all of them.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

About Time

I am amazed it took a Judge to tell the city of Seattle that it can not make up rules which obviously go against Washington state law. Then again not that much as I have been to Seattle before. Unless I was going out drinking (actually got drunk with my Grandma there once) I had a gun every time I was there.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Some More Thoughts On The Plan

My recent post got some interesting discussion going. A couple things jumped out and I laid in bed unable to sleep for a couple hours thinking about them. First as Sgt. Jarhead noted one benefit of the region I am talking about is that the borders of Washington, Idaho, and Montana are close together. Also I would add that NE Oregon isn't too far away either. A group of people could choose to live throughout this region, having their choice of the unique characteristics of each state and still be pretty darn close to each other.

Pearls, our bestie gal pal from Oklahoma mentioned taxes, specifically states with no income tax. This got me thinking. As a longtime PNW resident I am familiar with driving from Vancouver, WA to Portland, OR to avoid paying sales tax and such. As a brief catchup for those not familiar with the PNW Washington does not have any income tax but does have sales tax. Oregon and Idaho do not have sales tax but do have income tax. All have property taxes to varying degrees.

Before I get started here is a disclaimer. I am not certified as a tax adviser or anything like that. If you are looking at taxes as a serious factor in a potential move it is probably worth it to consult a licensed professional like a CPA or something. Anyway here we go.

The folks at Retirement Living said what I was thinking in a more intelligent manner: Many people planning to retire use the presence or absence of a state income tax as a litmus test for a retirement (TOR adds: or retreat) destination.  This is a serious miscalculation since higher sales and property taxes can more than offset the lack of a state income tax. The lack of a state income tax doesn’t necessarily ensure a low total tax burden.
States raise revenue in many ways including sales taxes, excise taxes, license taxes, income taxes, intangible taxes, property taxes, estate taxes and inheritance taxes.  Depending on where you live, you may end up paying all of them or just a few.

I did some looking and found a few resources that might help. The good folks at the Communist News Network reported an estimate of the total state and local tax burden for each state, probably not a bad place to start.

Going a step further and far more into depth Retirement Living did a very comprehensive job of laying out the total tax situation for each state. This site shows things like property tax rates, fuel surcharges, cigarette taxes and of course a lot of specific stuff about retirement benefits. This sort of nitty gritty look goes a long way toward telling the whole story.

Those two resources give a pretty decent view of the generic tax situation state by state. For how this all affects your decision making it gets more complicated. Property and sales taxes can vary county by county or even between two cities in the same county. A small rancher or farmer who will own a good amount of land but not make a ton of money is going to be worried more about property and estate/ inheritance taxes than income tax.. Someone who makes a lot of money and lives a modest lifestyle (thus minimal property and sales tax exposure) will want to avoid income taxes. Some states tax dividends which could be an issue for you.

One word of caution here. I would not move to one state over another because of a specific tax rule that benefits you. As times get bad old rules like say, a homestead exemption can change leaving you high and dry. Look more at the whole tax situation of the state than any one little rule, even if it will greatly benefit you. 

Again if tax implications of different areas are an important factor for you it is probably worthwhile to consult a licensed professional like a CPA or something. If you are going to spend tens or more likely hundreds of thousands of dollars and relocate to a different state it is worth an hour or two and a couple hundred bucks to make an informed decision.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

50 States Ranked By Personal Freedom

We have all seen lists here and there which rank the 50 states in terms of this freedom or that freedom or somebodies opinion of what freedom is. Today I found myself going through Solo Survivalist's blog. It was pretty interesting and definitely a place I will have to try and get back to. In any case I saw the link to the State Policy Index. Looking at their conclusions was interesting. It seems very scientific, dispassionate and quantifiable which I like a lot. That alone is worth looking at but really doesn't show us anything too new.

However I saw a link on the bottom left that allows you to weight the data differently. This is huge. While we can probably come together on some general themes of freedom being able to change the weighting to suit your concerns is awesome. Maybe you are really into raw milk or riding a bicycle without a helmet or concerned about gun laws or whatever. For instance I don't care about marijuana laws at all but I hate eminent domain and gun regulation.

This is worth playing with just because it is interesting. If you are considering moving from an un free state to a free state I would really spend some time here.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Top 10 Cash Strapped States

Read the article here. It strikes me that none of these states are seriously cutting spending. They will furlough employees for a day or two a month and make some other mainly cosmetic 'cuts' but won't really accept that they can't spend like they could a couple years ago. I know sometimes Wifey and I spend more than we should and deplete the checking account more than is ideal or maybe even prudent. Sometimes a bunch of expenses come up at once and sometimes we just spend too much or decide to take a spur of the moment weekend trip. We fix these problems by adjusting our spending downwards to get back within our means at a maintainable level.

Conversely at other times it seems that we are just rolling in money. In these times we might splurge a little and go on a trip or buy something we have really been wanting and generally are a bit more free than normal with spending. The thing is that we realize these times are not permenant so we don't permenantly change our spending with commitments we will not be able to make at more normal income levels. It is easy enough to not to out to a nice dinner or whatever but it is a lot harder to say pay half of the loan on your fancy new car. The issue here is that we can make choices in that way and adjust our spending as needed while government (at any level) has a very hard time doing that. They can look at funding some building or repairing some stuff but many (pet socialist) programs which get started 'temporarily' are difficult or impossible to stop. As they say there is nothing more permenant than a temporary government program.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

This Could Get Very Interesting

The wonderful folks at the ATF were nice enough to write letters to people in Montana and Tennessee. I am sure the residents of these states will appreciate their consideration.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular Posts