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Friday

You Can CHOOSE Where You're From



"Home is Where You Hook Up" Partially True
Many consider full time RVing as a wonderful life of adventure but just as many can’t wrap their minds around the concept.  If you’re part of the first group and are considering the full time RV lifestyle there are lots of things to consider.  Although the thought of "Home is Where You Hook Up" can be idyllic, there are some realities associated with it.   Likely, if you’ve gotten to the point of considering the full time RV lifestyle, you’ve already been an RVer or have at least at some time in your past enjoyed an RV excursion or two.  If you Google "full time RVing" and similar phrases you’ll find hundreds of books and articles on hints and education on the topic.  To mention a few: what type of RV should I buy, how will I work or do I need to, what will I do in my free time, how will I receive mail, how will I be able to live SO closely to my mate or traveling companion, health insurance, doctor accessibility, etc. 

Another Necessity to Consider
State and income tax affects RVers choice of home state

If you’re looking to live and hit the road in your RV full time there’s also the issue of taxes.    When it comes to taxes, RVers do have to consider where they want to call home when they’re on the road.  If you will still own a sticks and bricks home, this may determine your state of “domicile” as it’s called.  By picking a state to call home, RVers are declaring residence there and they are responsible for all taxes they’re obligated to pay in that state. This isn’t something that many RVers think about when deciding to hit the road full time, but taxes are still inevitable as the saying goes.  There’s income tax, vehicle taxes and registrations, sales tax, property tax, interest income tax to name a few.  So what should we look for in a state we want to call home?

“Elementary, My Dear Watson.”

Be like Detective Sherlock Holmes when doing RV research
Maybe you remember these words of Sherlock Holmes.  I’ve always liked his deducing methods and the stories of Sherlock Holmes.  In a recent article on the subject of full time RVers I found some tips lined out in a very clear, no non-sense fashion that made me feel like Sherlock Holmes who told his dear friend Watson: “when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?”  Notice how “elementary” it can be, to dwindle down the best picks for home state by eliminating choices:

Some states have better tax breaks for full time RVers than others. If you’re going to pick a place to call home, you might as well do it where you don’t have to pay income tax. 

Here’s a list of states that have no income tax:
- Alaska
- Florida
- Nevada
- New Hampshire
- South Dakota
- Tennessee
- Texas
- Washington
- Wyoming
Tennessee and New Hampshire may not charge income tax, but they tax interest income and dividends. That takes them off the list.
From there, you’ll want to examine the sales tax in each state.
Let’s take a look at that:
- Florida (6 %+)
- Nevada (6.5% – 8.75%)
- South Dakota (4 %+)
- Texas (6.25% – 8.25%)
- Washington (6.5%)
- Wyoming (4% – 8%)
Now, we’ll move on to personal and property tax.
Since that will be charged regardless of where you live, we want to examine what states utilize it:
- Florida
- Washington
That takes them off our list, too.
We just have four states left on our list: Nevada, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming.

The Easy Peasy ButtonNow wasn’t that refreshingly easy?  Texas and South Dakota are the most populated states when it   Mild weather is often a deciding factor but remember you don’t have to live in this state full time.  Some only return to their home state once a year or less.  Many states require you to return to your home state for things like jury duty or renewing your driver’s license.
comes to full time RVers calling them home. But once you narrow it down to a few states that all give good tax advantages, it comes down to personal preference, the routes you travel and really what you like the best.

For some, there are other factors more important than taxes when deciding where to domicile.  For example, some friends of ours who are retired air force, get several military perks in the state they chose as their "residence." So taxes are not the ONLY basis for deciding your home state, just a good place to start.


Are you a full time RVer? How did you decide what state to call home? Share your experiences in the comments below!




Teri Blaschke is the RV Park operator of family owned HiddenValley RV Park in San Antonio, TX and writer of the park blog “A Little Piece of Country in San Antonio.” Teri contributes to various other blogs with a focus on either travel or social media and how it relates to the outdoor hospitality industry but her passion is serving the RV travel community by providing a memorable RV camping experience and growing the Hidden Valley RV family.  Connect with , Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter@HiddenValleyRV and our RV Country Daily Magazine and don't forget to Say hello to the voice of Hidden Valley 



4 comments:

Gail Houle said...

We are full time and currently domicile in SD but are considering "relocating" to FL. Florida does not have a personal property tax as you stated. Their PPT is only for businesses or landlords with property (stove, refrig. etc) inside a rental unit. RV's are not taxed. Most people choose one of the Big 3, FL, TX or SD. FL offers a 50% discount on state park stays if you are a resident senior 65+. It's tempting us :)

Mark and Teri said...

That would be a big draw for me too if I were full timing now. Do you know if FL's state parks allow month or longer stays or if it's restricted?

Gail Houle said...

Teri, to the best of my knowledge, FL parks have a 2 week limit but I have heard that some, at their discretion, will let you stay 4 weeks during the off season as long as occupancy is low.
We have a little over a year before we'd be illegible for the discount so that should be enough time to orchestrate a "move" :)

Mark and Teri said...

Just googled FL state parks and there are lots. Even if you stay two weeks in each you could fill a long period of time.
However, I do like to "settle" for a month or two every once in a while. Gives me a sense of balance. :)

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