Property Tax Horrors

Posted Thu, 10/27/11

It's no secret that one of my goals is to move to Maine in the near future. My desire to live there began more than twenty years ago, but because of intervening happenstance - natural life and three marriages, basically - my plans have been put on hold repeatedly. The closest I ever came was when Wilbert and I moved to Washington in 2002. Our original plan was to keep going until we reached Maine, which entailed an additional $1000 for the moving-van rental. For that reason alone, we ended up staying in Washington for several years. Flash to present day...

Every few weeks or so, I browse through real estate web sites such as Keller Williams, Pottle Realty, Sigrid & Associates and Tindal & Callahan. I stay within a typical sale price during my searches, but I'm always struck by property tax calculations when they are made available. Wouldn't you know New England property taxes are among the highest in America? On the flip side Southern states have comparably lower property taxes (with Alabama being at the bottom), but I'd rather vacate the country than live down south.

According to Wikipedia, US New England consists of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

My birth state of Connecticut ranks second highest in property taxes in the nation. Maine isn't far behind. All New England states are relatively high (number-ranked; amounts per capita):

#2 Connecticut ($2,044)

#3 New Hampshire ($2,028)

#6 Vermont ($1,697)

#7 Rhode Island ($1,695)

#8 Maine ($1,632)

#9 Massachusetts ($1,610)

*Data source: North American Property Tax Experts.

The ghastly tax rates still haven't deterred me from eventually making a move, hopefully sooner than later. I realize staying west will ease the tax burden, but I'm sick and tired of living amongst desert sands, sagebrush and intolerably arid climates. I've already had my lifetime fill of all three.

Although not part of New England, Maryland offers a lower property tax rate than most, ranking 27th in the nation ($1001).