Now you all can see the price of the social safety net your state politicians have stuck you with, but there's something else your money's disappearing on - or into, like someone's pockets. Our real estate taxes were $1566 last year on a house worth $200,000 here ($350,000 or so up north; taxable value $94,000) and we have a 6% sales tax, no state income tax. We have most of the safety net, and it's no-frills, the kind that encourges people not to stay on it too long. $50,000 income goes a long way here.

Granted, we get a homestead exemption on the property tax; but, even when a home reverts to full value when it's sold, the new tax bill isn't much more than $3400 on a $200,000 house. There are other factors, but all things considered it's a lot less expensive here.