May 1, 2016
When I retired five years ago, my wife and I purchased a second residence in Naples, Fla., our winter home away from Avon. As a retiree, my time in Florida has highlighted Connecticut’s cost of living.
I moved to Connecticut in the early 1970s. The state did not have an income tax at that time. Of course, today we do. And somehow, we are still in the red. The issue is not taxation (we have income tax, real estate tax, auto property tax, estate tax and sales tax), it’s spending. For example, in 2000, Connecticut’s annual budget was $12.3 billion. Today, the annual budget is $20 billion and not balanced. That’s an $8 billion spending increase.
As a retiree, my issue is simple and complex.
Simply stated, Florida does not have an income tax. My Florida real estate taxes are 50 percent less than my equivalent Connecticut home. There are no auto property taxes. As we age, we think about estate planning. Florida does not have an estate tax. And, unlike Connecticut, its infrastructure is not crumbling.
Florida has a $1 billion surplus this year. While some in the state want to use that surplus for increased social program spending, Gov. Rick Scott plans to use the money to further reduce or eliminate business taxes. His goal is to continue to attract businesses from high-tax states like Connecticut to Florida.
The result is clear. Florida is growing, building new infrastructure, has no income tax and runs a surplus. Connecticut is losing its taxpayers and can’t balance its budget.
So my issue is simple. As a retiree, should I relocate to Florida?
Gov. Malloy, any advice?