NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


October 4, 2007

Floridians have a right to be concerned about high property taxes, as well as the vast and rapid expansion of local government spending that has come with them. Because of the parabolic rise in the price of real estate in recent years, taxes have increased up to three times in parts of Florida, says the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

The rise has led many to look outside of the state for a tax haven, but actually finding one may prove difficult:

  • In California, where residents in 1978 capped property taxes, Californians still pay 11.5 percent of their income in state and local taxes, compared to only 10 percent in Florida.
  • Floridians could look for greener grass in Indiana, Nevada, Illinois and a host of other states, but once they got there, they'd hear the same complaints about high property taxation as they do here.

To find major tax relief, a Sunshine State resident would have to move to Alaska or New Hampshire, says the Sun Sentinel:

  • New Hampshire, ranked 49th, has a combined local and state tax burden of 8 percent.
  • In Alaska, where government coffers are flush with royalties from the oil fields, the state and local tax burden is only 6.6 percent, placing Alaska solidly at the bottom of the state tax rankings, at least until the oil runs out.

Perhaps a better option is reform, says the Sun-Sentinel.  The tax cutters can begin by targeting reform of public employee pensions, which are way out of kilter with private sector retirement plans, and which the state and local governments can ill afford.

Source: Kingsley Guy, "Floridians look for safe tax haven," South Florida Sun-Sentinel, October 3, 2007.


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