State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.
U.S. News & World Report has published an article identifying the Best Places to Retire in America.
The list includes:
Concord, New Hampshire
Peachtree City, Georgia
San Francisco, California
You will notice that the list does not include any Wisconsin community.
Let’s examine the property tax rankings for the states that have the best cities to retire. These rankings were released on September 12, 2007 by the National Tax Foundation in Washington D.C.
Bozeman, Montana: 30
Concord, New Hampshire : 2
Fayetteville, Arkansas: 47
Hillsboro, Oregon: 17
Lawrence, Kansas: 21
Peachtree City, Georgia: 36
Prescott, Arizona: 33
San Francisco, California: 10
Smyrna, Tennessee: 41
Venice, Florida: 22
Only one of the communities, Concord, is in a state with a property tax ranking higher than Wisconsin’s ranking of 9.
There is a correlation between high taxes and where people retire. I wrote about it in my business blog in the Small Business Times:
“The best way to improve Wisconsin's dreary business climate is to make our tax system less punitive on everyone. Easing Wisconsin's tax burden would also keep more people from leaving.
During November 2005, the Wisconsin Taxpayer Alliance issued a very troubling report entitled, "Moving In, Moving on: Migration in Wisconsin." During the five years prior to the 2000 census, almost 669,000 people either moved to or out of Wisconsin. However, the net in-migration into Wisconsin was a meager 7,282.
Individuals with college or advanced degrees were more likely to leave, while those with less education tended to come. Individuals with household incomes above $75,000 left Wisconsin. Those with incomes of $200,000 or more had the highest rates of leaving.
The huge exodus of wealthy Wisconsinites leaving the state caused a loss of an estimated $4.72 billion in net worth and a loss of $455 million in income over the five years of this study. That means far fewer in-state bank deposits, less stock in Wisconsin firms, less investment capital for in-state ventures, and less money given to local charities.
We are losing our best and brightest at a very young age, and we're experiencing retiree flight.
Young adults leave for college, especially to Minnesota because tuition reciprocity with Minnesota means students cross the border at little or no added tuition cost. Western states like California, Arizona and Colorado also draw Wisconsin youth.
True, senior citizens head to Florida and Arizona for warm weather. They leave for another reason: economics. High-income seniors go to Florida at higher rates than to Arizona, the reason being Florida does not have income tax.”
You can read the entire business blog here.
Wisconsin will not make the list of the Best Places to Retire as long as we continue to impose some of the highest property taxes in the country.