Not that I expected it to be included here, but Los Angeles was not on this list…not by a long shot. This month’s Kiplinger’s has a top 10 list of the most tax friendly cities, including their sales tax, property tax, auto tax and income tax. They based their list on a make believe family making $75,000 per year, living in homes that were appropriate for their income level. Who made the list?
1. Anchorage, Alaska – $0 income and sales tax, $2,872 property tax, $176 auto tax. Add to this the fact that each resident gets a dividend payment from oil-drilling taxes, and Alaska is not looking so bad anymore.
2. Cheyenne, Wyoming – $0 income tax, $1,610 sales tax, $1,047 property tax and a $564 auto tax. I have been to Cheyenne, it is an incredibly beautiful place and one that we would consider living in (if we were not set on Taos!).
3. Jacksonville, Florida – $0 income tax, $1,252 sales tax,$1,869 property tax and a $333 auto tax. Don’t get me wrong, Florida has some nice weather, but we had some friends move there several years ago just so they could buy a house…and they are leaving already. They have hated it due to it’s “cookie-cutter-ness”…their words, not mine.
4. Las Vegas, Nevada – $0 income tax, $1,021 sales tax, $2,416 property tax and $610 auto tax. I love Vegas…for about a three day span. Anything longer than that and I would probably lose my mind.
5. Honolulu, Hawaii – $1,542 income tax, $978 sales tax, $1,279 property tax and a $425 auto tax. I have a buddy from college that moved there right when we graduated, saying he would come back to the mainland when he was 30 to get a “real” job….that was 5 years ago and he is still surfing and working in a coffee shop. There is something to be said for that, and he has now said he “ain’t never comin back”.
6. Memphis, Tenn. – $0 income tax, $2,111 sales tax, $2,084 property tax and $355 in auto taxes. Since I don’t know anything about Memphis other than Elvis, I will refrain from judging. Anyone live there?
7. Sioux Falls, South Dakota – $0 income tax, $1,682 sales tax, $2,701 property tax and $325 in auto taxes. Again, another place I know nothing about and have never been to.
8. Fargo, North Dakota – $974 income tax, $1,230 sales tax, $2,188 property tax and $317 in auto taxes. What do I know about Fargo? You probably saw the movie too…that’s about it.
9. Houston, Texas – $0 property tax, $1,636 sales tax, $2,778 property tax and a $310 auto tax. Austin, maybe…Houston, never. Sorry Houston, I have been there, and your air looks dirtier than mine here in L.A.!
10. Billings, Montana – $2,371 income tax, $0 sales tax, $1,983 property tax and $682 in auto taxes. Wow, those are some high auto taxes! Montana is another one of those places we would probably enjoy living in…if we hadn’t already been to Taos.
All I can say is “wow”. I pay more in rent per month than these people pay in property taxes each year. Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York…these cities are crazy compared to this top ten list. I would love to have no income tax! What about you? Where do you live and how does it compare?