Author Topic: Vermont or Virginia?  (Read 716 times)

SailingOnASmallSailboat

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Vermont or Virginia?
« on: June 26, 2020, 06:24:29 AM »
We're about to sell our house in Virginia to move onto our boat and go cruising. The next important decision we have in front of us is where to declare residency. I've looked at the sites that compare costs but they all seem to leave out details like vehicle registration/annual tax and business fees/taxes, both of which are part of our picture. Can anyone steer me to a spot where I can figure this out, or am I looking forward to a lot of sifting and manual creation of such a snapshot . . .

Both states have income tax - we estimate we'll be earning maybe $60k annually from side hustles and investments. We briefly flirted with Florida as a residence but shot it down quickly because I detest almost everything about the state. Yes, I know this may cost us some money (the personal property taxes and annual gotchas are not insignificant in Florida). I don't think it's worth the difference.

Why Virginia? We've lived here for 20+ years. We both have side hustles that are registered with the state, though once we sell the house we'll have to use a registered agent for the physical address thing. We have a lease on a slip that can be our residence on the boat. I like that our vote matters here. Until a week or so ago it was important for us to remain as residents here because of college concerns; our oldest is transferring to a college out of state so that's not a factor anymore. Negatives: personal property tax, the stickiness of the state in terms of said taxes, the fact that we're not very likely to actually return to Virginia once we actually set sail, nowhere to keep the car if we ultimately decide to keep it.

Why Vermont? We inherited a house there 2 years ago that we have no intention of selling; no worries with finding an address to tie ourselves to. It's a summer-only residence, but that could change if we needed it to (we'd install some form of heat). If we declared residency in Vermont our property taxes would most likely go down. I've got long-back family ties in the state. Our younger child is in college in the state, which would simplify things from a vehicle registration and insurance perspective. Negatives: our votes matter less, Vermont's reputation for being a high tax state.

Would love thoughts and considerations and advice from others. Many thanks!

mayhem

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Re: Vermont or Virginia?
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2020, 06:31:28 AM »
I'm not too familiar with things in VA, but in VT you should be able to claim homestead exemption, which would decrease some portion of the property taxes.

As for vehicle registration, my 2011 vintage costs about $120 a year for registration, I think a license is around $35 a year(?). I'm nowhere near worrying about this yet, but I have heard folks complain that VT State income taxes apply to Social Security income. If that is in your situation you might consider investigating further.

Sailing full time sounds fun! Best of luck!!

slappy

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Re: Vermont or Virginia?
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2020, 07:26:43 AM »
Why did you briefly consider FL? If you are not tied to VT, what about NH? No state income tax at least. Prop taxes are high but my understanding is that prop taxes are high in VT as well.

Ecky

  • Bristles
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Re: Vermont or Virginia?
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2020, 07:38:32 AM »
I know you asked to leave it out, but I find it rather nice that car insurance and registration costs are so low in VT. You're also not required to keep insurance on your  vehicle unless you're driving it.

SailingOnASmallSailboat

  • Bristles
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Re: Vermont or Virginia?
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2020, 01:47:41 PM »
I know you asked to leave it out, but I find it rather nice that car insurance and registration costs are so low in VT. You're also not required to keep insurance on your  vehicle unless you're driving it.

I've actually not been able to find this information out, so it's really helpful thank you! (the comparison sites leave this stuff out, which is frustrating to me!)

SailingOnASmallSailboat

  • Bristles
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Re: Vermont or Virginia?
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2020, 01:49:08 PM »
@slappy the Vermont ties are important to me. Florida was considered briefly because that's likely where we'll have a mail service. NH is no income, you're right, but we'd have to figure out the address thing.

MyAlterEgoIsTaller

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Re: Vermont or Virginia?
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2020, 03:50:09 PM »
Are you sure that the summer-only residence in VT is zoned for year-round living?  I'd investigate that first before you install heat, because some VT towns have zoning that limits "seasonal dwellings" to no more than 150 days of occupancy per year, and/or that prohibit occupying them during certain seasons,  weather, or road conditions. 

SailingOnASmallSailboat

  • Bristles
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Re: Vermont or Virginia?
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2020, 07:49:02 PM »
Are you sure that the summer-only residence in VT is zoned for year-round living?  I'd investigate that first before you install heat, because some VT towns have zoning that limits "seasonal dwellings" to no more than 150 days of occupancy per year, and/or that prohibit occupying them during certain seasons,  weather, or road conditions.

My aunt lived there year round before we inherited it, and we ripped the heating stuff out last summer. I appreciate the the heads up as that's not something I'd have thought about - but I think we're fine.