Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
AlwaysWannaLearn
Posts: 230
Joined: Mon May 28, 2018 8:37 pm

Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by AlwaysWannaLearn »

.....
Last edited by AlwaysWannaLearn on Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Hug401k
Posts: 390
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:49 pm

Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by Hug401k »

There isn't much south of Worcester, but highway 395 is one of my favorite highways. It's in nice condition and completely empty. Webster has a big lake area. You can shoot down to the CT coast in no time. 495, 90, 95, and 93 are all disasters.
jharkin
Posts: 2664
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:14 am
Location: Boston suburbs

Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by jharkin »

TheRightKost87 wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:38 pm
Wellfleet wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:35 pm
B4Xt3r wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:32 pm
Like I don't wish to pay taxes.
Live in New Hampshire then and commute down 495.
NH property taxes are actually the highest of the bunch
Yep, and the lack of income tax will be no benefit because Mass will tax you as a non resident employee. Worst of all worlds.


Contrary to reputation, Mass is actually barely middle of the road in taxes. And the “services” you don’t want include world class hospitals that may save your life someday, Access to some of the best education in the country, and infrastructure supporting lots of high paying tech and finance jobs. Sounds good to me........
ks289
Posts: 655
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:42 pm

Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by ks289 »

jharkin wrote: Sat Jun 16, 2018 5:51 am
TheRightKost87 wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:38 pm
Wellfleet wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:35 pm
B4Xt3r wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:32 pm
Like I don't wish to pay taxes.
Live in New Hampshire then and commute down 495.
NH property taxes are actually the highest of the bunch
Yep, and the lack of income tax will be no benefit because Mass will tax you as a non resident employee. Worst of all worlds.


Contrary to reputation, Mass is actually barely middle of the road in taxes. And the “services” you don’t want include world class hospitals that may save your life someday, Access to some of the best education in the country, and infrastructure supporting lots of high paying tech and finance jobs. Sounds good to me........
I agree with you. The pure tax % aspect is actually a good value for the services available in Massachusetts. However, high real estate prices relative to the region explain how many residents ultimately end up paying for it.
jharkin
Posts: 2664
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:14 am
Location: Boston suburbs

Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by jharkin »

ks289 wrote: Sat Jun 16, 2018 5:58 am I agree with you. The pure tax % aspect is actually a good value for the services available in Massachusetts. However, high real estate prices relative to the region explain how many residents ultimately end up paying for it.
Sure this is true, and I do live in a town with a high rate (I think around 1.9, have to look) and messy commutes. But its worth it to me because I'm within 20 min commute distance of work I could not get for anywhere near this kind of salary where I grew up (CT - like other ill never go back).

The commute horror show is real. I just changed jobs because my previous employer was moving downtown and it would have taken me 2 hours to go 30 mi. I remember when I first moved into this are 20 years ago, one could get downtown in 45 minutes during the morning rush. Thats doubled now and probably will double again :(
jharkin
Posts: 2664
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:14 am
Location: Boston suburbs

Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by jharkin »

tarmangani wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:42 pm
BTW, someone mentioned Prop 2 1/2 in MA and that your property taxes are capped at 2.5% growth. That is not true. The total amount of tax levied by a municipality (minus new growth) is capped at 2.5%. Your tax bill certainly can increase by more than 2.5% if property values elsewhere fall. The municipality will just increase the effective tax rate. So suppose your tax rate is $15. If property values overall fall enough, the municipality can reach the 2.5% cap by simply raising the tax rate, suppose to $16 or whatever. And thus if your property's value did not decrease, you will pay more in taxes. You may also have a district (fire/water) tax, completely separate from Prop 2 1/2.
This is not exactly the way 2.5 works. There are two caps:
* A 2.5% overall cap on the rate.
* A 2.5% cap on on annual increases in the rate.

Your town CANT just increase the rate more than 2.5% in a year unless they vote and pass an override. Overrides happen a lot when prop values are falling... lots of people complain, but very few actually go vote at town meetings. :oops:

That's not to say that your bill cant jump more than 2.5% per year. Even if the rate is unchanged, assessments change year to year and can cause large swings. I have had my bill go up significantly, both with and without overrides... but I have also had it go down on occasion.

I am not aware of a "water" tax. I get a water bill, calculated based on the gallons I use. no tax.
User avatar
samsoes
Posts: 1521
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:12 am

Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by samsoes »

FireHorse wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:20 pm
Billius wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:53 pm Another CT resident here advising not CT. The wife and are I getting out ASAP when she wraps up with school next year.
Also CT here. Wondering where you are moving to?
Same here. It's paralyzing to try to figure out where to move once achieving FIRE.

Anywhere but Connecticut.
"Happiness Is Not My Companion" - Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren. | (Avatar is the statue of Gen. Warren atop Little Round Top @ Gettysburg National Military Park.)
tarmangani
Posts: 142
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:14 am

Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by tarmangani »

jharkin wrote: Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:15 am
tarmangani wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:42 pm
BTW, someone mentioned Prop 2 1/2 in MA and that your property taxes are capped at 2.5% growth. That is not true. The total amount of tax levied by a municipality (minus new growth) is capped at 2.5%. Your tax bill certainly can increase by more than 2.5% if property values elsewhere fall. The municipality will just increase the effective tax rate. So suppose your tax rate is $15. If property values overall fall enough, the municipality can reach the 2.5% cap by simply raising the tax rate, suppose to $16 or whatever. And thus if your property's value did not decrease, you will pay more in taxes. You may also have a district (fire/water) tax, completely separate from Prop 2 1/2.
This is not exactly the way 2.5 works. There are two caps:
* A 2.5% overall cap on the rate.
* A 2.5% cap on on annual increases in the rate.

Your town CANT just increase the rate more than 2.5% in a year unless they vote and pass an override. Overrides happen a lot when prop values are falling... lots of people complain, but very few actually go vote at town meetings. :oops:

That's not to say that your bill cant jump more than 2.5% per year. Even if the rate is unchanged, assessments change year to year and can cause large swings. I have had my bill go up significantly, both with and without overrides... but I have also had it go down on occasion.

I am not aware of a "water" tax. I get a water bill, calculated based on the gallons I use. no tax.
It is exactly how it works. There's no cap on the rate itself. It's a levy limit on the total cash value of property. See this primer from the DOR (you could also just read the MGL, but this is much clearer):

https://www.wellesleyma.gov/DocumentCen ... Primer-PDF

If you're still skeptical, I'll point you to actual real world tax rates, which fluctuate much wider than 2.5%. These are readily available on the Division of Local Services' website. I work in a waterfront town with property values which substantially declined over the past decade, where residents routinely complain that their taxes have shot up by a percentage much greater than 2.5%. The largest increases came during the recession, from 2009-2010, an increase of 9% ($7.44 to $8.11) and 2010-2011 an increase of 10% ($8.11 to $8.93). No overrides passed. For most folks, the lowered property values "canceled out" the tax rate, but if your property value did not decline, you would have paid much higher taxes. So here, some waterfront property preserves its value. An $800k home, which didn't change value, would go from paying $5,952 in tax to $7,144, an increase of 20% across two years.

Re: water, it's a district tax. You probably do not live in a town with separate districts. This is an old list, but it shows that these exist:

http://www.mass.gov/dor/local-officials ... ecaps.html

edit: I bring this up not only to correct a misconception but because some rich people (a bucket into which I'd probably put OP all else being equal) think of moving to "cheap towns" to save on taxes. It might not work out the way as planned, if the town goes to hell and your property holds its value. IMO you're better off moving to a good municipality which holds its value. Tax rates in MA are very reasonable. I live in RI, Providence exactly, where our mill rate's very high as is our property valuations. And we get poor outcomes, so it's not like you could argue that, well, you pay a lot of money but you get exemplary service...schools are a disaster, infrastructure a mess, and the city verges on bankruptcy due to its pension liabilities. Etc.
Last edited by tarmangani on Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
panhead
Posts: 459
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:53 am

Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by panhead »

This would be easier to answer if we knew the town you were working in, but if you are working near 395, then Auburn is nice if you want a more "towny" feel with some malls, restaurants, etc, tho not anything like a city. Worcester is a decent sized city, but there are some not so nice areas, so ask if you are looking for Worcester and we can probably help. Worcester has an nice lake too with a sailing club. Oxford is nice if you don't mind more rural, and it has decent schools. Webster schools aren't so great, but its cheap living (as is oxford) and it has a big lake with a crazy name (google webster lake).

If you are off of 146 things start to get a bit more expensive. Millbury is a little pricey, but ok place to live. Sutton is nice but rural, uxbridge is about the same.

If you are off of 495 things increase even more in price. If you like football you could get a place near Gillette Stadium (Patriots) like Wrentham, but you're gonna pay. Bellingham, Milford, etc, all pricey, but all nice towns.

Narrow down what highway you're off of and more info can be given...
bob60014
Posts: 1787
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:59 pm
Location: The Land Beyond ORD

Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by bob60014 »

Rent first no matter where you decide. I lived for awhile in North Smithfield, RI. but can't comment on the current economic conditions. I loved the area as it had easy access to the highways, shopping and recreation.
pshonore
Posts: 6977
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2009 2:21 pm

Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by pshonore »

samsoes wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:52 pm
atomicrc11 wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:33 pm You also have to be very careful due to the issues with foundations in CT. Years ago poorly made concrete is causing houses to be made unlivable due to them crumbling.
Great point. Fortunately, my home was built in 1956 and is not affected.

Here's more info:

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/08/nyre ... hless.html
https://www.nbcconnecticut.com/troubles ... 61181.html

A particular northeast Connecticut quarry was providing tainted concrete to builders in the 1980's through the early 2000's.

From the NYT article: "The stone aggregate used in the concrete mixture has high levels of pyrrhotite, an iron sulfide mineral that can react with oxygen and water to cause swelling and cracking. Over the past 30 years, the quarry has provided concrete for as many as 20,000 houses."

Renders your home worthless. Not covered by homneowner's insurance.
Supposedly MA is effected as well since that quarry is less than 10 miles from the MA border and several ready mix plants used the aggregate.
SGM
Posts: 3100
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:46 am

Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by SGM »

We enjoy the CT shoreline in the summer and have some beach property there. I wouldn't become a resident because of the income tax situation.
Billius
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:03 am

Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by Billius »

samsoes wrote: Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:35 am
FireHorse wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:20 pm
Billius wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:53 pm Another CT resident here advising not CT. The wife and are I getting out ASAP when she wraps up with school next year.
Also CT here. Wondering where you are moving to?
Same here. It's paralyzing to try to figure out where to move once achieving FIRE.

Anywhere but Connecticut.
So I accidentally PM'ed this to FireHorse (as you can tell from my post count, I'm new here), so I'll post it in response to you...

In or near Richmond, VA. My dad moved there for work about six years ago and loves it. My wife and I visit once or twice a year and really enjoy the lifestyle there and the lower cost of living is appealing. We both work in health care (she's wrapping up nursing school now) and there are multiple hospitals in the region, so there should be plenty of employment opportunities to get us down there.
FireHorse
Posts: 221
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:03 pm

Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by FireHorse »

Billius wrote: Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:12 am
samsoes wrote: Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:35 am
FireHorse wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:20 pm
Billius wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:53 pm Another CT resident here advising not CT. The wife and are I getting out ASAP when she wraps up with school next year.
Also CT here. Wondering where you are moving to?
Same here. It's paralyzing to try to figure out where to move once achieving FIRE.

Anywhere but Connecticut.
So I accidentally PM'ed this to FireHorse (as you can tell from my post count, I'm new here), so I'll post it in response to you...

In or near Richmond, VA. My dad moved there for work about six years ago and loves it. My wife and I visit once or twice a year and really enjoy the lifestyle there and the lower cost of living is appealing. We both work in health care (she's wrapping up nursing school now) and there are multiple hospitals in the region, so there should be plenty of employment opportunities to get us down there.
Sounds a good plan!! VA is a good choice - comfortable climate and cheaper living expenses.....
Thanks for Sharing.
chw
Posts: 911
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 4:22 pm

Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by chw »

Generally, I would say MA, especially if buying a home that is within 30-35 miles of Boston (with commuter rail access). While you may not be commuting to Boston, one of the strongest real estate markets in the US is the metro Boston area. If renting, taxes aside, RI and CT may better suit your lifestyle. RI offers great bayside/Oceanside activities, with Providence and Newport being great small cities to explore. CT offers good outdoor activities as well, but the coastline isn't considered as nice as RI, and probably not going to be near where you need to be. I would hesitate to purchase CT real estate at this time, unless making a long term commitment. The state of CT is having ongoing fiscal problems which are bleeding into higher tax rates at the local level, which is impacting real estate values. Many areas of CT have seen little or no price appreciation over the past 20 years.

Feel free to PM me if you want share a specific city/town you are commuting to, and I can give you some more specific ideas.
Last edited by chw on Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Sweet Betsy
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 9:42 am

Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by Sweet Betsy »

We've lived in Central MA for 5 years and have been pleasantly surprised. Taxes are definitely not as high as we expected (although property tax in our town is definitely higher than that which we experienced in the mountain west). I concur with others to recommend against CT. We have family there and have seen/heard some of the financial issues going on there.

Feel free to PM me if you'd like specific town recommendations.
friar1610
Posts: 1838
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: MA South Shore

Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by friar1610 »

The Wizard wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:11 pm It doesn't matter to the OP right now, I'm guessing, but both CT and RI tax SS income. MA does not...
Nor, if by any chance he's a federal employee, does MA tax federal/military pensions.
Friar1610
jks1985
Posts: 84
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:25 pm

Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by jks1985 »

My vote is for MA.

While I grew up in RI, and have lots of friends and family there, I can't see myself ever returning. That state just can't seem to get itself together. Plus, you'll pay a premium to live in any nice area of the state (EG, Barrington, Jamestown, etc.). Taxes in RI (income + property) are slightly higher than in MA, as well.

The high taxes of CT alone would steer me away, not to mention all the budget/fiscal problems the state is experiencing. It's on a downward spiral. New England's version of Detroit.

Keep things simple and stay in MA. Rent near your job and enjoy the short commute!
Post Reply