About a week and a half ago, I started "setting the table" for what could be a topic of discussion during the upcoming citizen budget forums by talking about the potential for tax increases, also known by its less incendiary name, "revenue enhancement," or its Simpsonized name, "temporary refund adjustments."
That sparked a nice little conversation in the comments when It's Our Money reader NHB, not to be confused with pop culture favorite NPH, wrote the following:
A quick snapshot of my family's finances while looking for a home in Montgomery County instead of in our current Northwest Philadelphia area(Mount Airy): Property Taxes increase roughly $2000 a year (to $4200 from $2200) and wage taxes are reduced to $0 from our family's current $4640 a year. And this is before the threats of any more increases in either the wage or property tax camoe to fruition. Not to mention improved schools, less crime, and better overall community services. Anybody with a good reason why my family should stop looking in Montco? I'd love to hear it. Oh yeah, and buying that $220000 house in Mt. Airy? Tack on $6600 in title transfer fees that add about $40 a month to your mortgage debt (i.e.- $15000 over the life of an average 30yr. loan. Not Buy Buy Philly... more like Bye Bye Philly.
Further down the page, another commenter responded by referring to a website called Sperling's Best Places which allows users to scope out potential places to live and compare them based on living expenses and tax rates. This website seems to indicate that for many of the townships or boroughs that I arbitrarily picked, the combination of federal, state and local taxes was as high or almost as high as for Philadelphia. The site seems to have its limitations, nor does it break down exactly where it gets that information so I'm not going to recommend it as the authority on this subject.