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krugs525

Thinking of moving to Charlotte... traffic? taxes?

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My wife and I are thinking of relocating to Charlotte in the next year or so. We're moving from Michigan so I'm stoked about the warmer weather, but after reading stuff about Charlotte, I have some concerns...

- It sounds like the traffic in Charlotte is pretty bad... but it is really any worse than any other city of the same size? I'm not one to live in the city, so I'd probably settle down in the suburbs. Am I going to spend hours in traffic every day?

- I've heard taxes are bad too... is that true? What all is taxed so much, and how much?

- Given these negative factors, do the positives outweigh the negatives?

Thanks everyone,

Jon

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From what I understand from others on this forum, traffic is far far worse in Michigan, especially if you live in the Detroit area. There are no commutes here that even come close to an hour unless you move really far out and then it is just a distance thing.

Generally taxes here are lower than they are in the North. If you reside in Mecklenburg county, then you will pay the following taxes:

  • State Income Tax (maxs out around 7% or so)

  • Sales Tax on most retail purchases. In Mecklenburg you will also pay a 1/2 cent mass transit tax. The total is 7.5%

  • Property Tax accessed by the county and municipality that you decide to live in. In Mecklenburg that can range from $1.30 - $0.80 per $100 of accessed real property. Real property = Homes, Land, Cars, Boats, Airplanes. So if you had a home valued at $200K then taxes would be around $2000/year. There is no separate school tax here. Generally these taxes are deductable from state and federal tax so the bite is not that bad.

That's really it for the major taxes. There are other taxes such as state gasoline tax, stuff on phones, etc.

Considering that the county has added amost 100,000 people in the last 5 years, I think that says alot about the negatives outweighing the positives.

BTW, welcome to UrbanPlanet!

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My wife and I are thinking of relocating to Charlotte in the next year or so. We're moving from Michigan so I'm stoked about the warmer weather, but after reading stuff about Charlotte, I have some concerns...

- It sounds like the traffic in Charlotte is pretty bad... but it is really any worse than any other city of the same size? I'm not one to live in the city, so I'd probably settle down in the suburbs. Am I going to spend hours in traffic every day?

You can still live in the suburbs and not have to sit in hours of traffic. Dilworth, Elizabeth and Plaza Midwood are all very nice suburbs located only a few miles from Uptown - perhaps a 5 to 10 minute drive. Of course, house prices in these areas are generally going to be higher than in the further out suburbs and exurbs. Wilmore and Wesley Heights, currently being gentrified, are also very close to the city. Of course, don't expect to find your cookie-cutter suburban houses here - these are very mature neighborhoods with older houses and tons of character.

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Jon,

Taxes aren't really as bad as some people make them out to be, and although the schools aren't perfect, the system is actually one of the top urban school systems in the nation. I really do encourage you to move, as it would be beneficial for you and for the city, for it is people like you that keep Charlotte growing and becoming an even better city.

Welcome to UP! :)

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We live 10 miles from Uptown in south Charlotte. During drive time the commute is 45 minutes door to door. On weekends its a 20 minute ride to Uptown. We moved from a Boston suburb (35 miles from downtown Boston) and Charlotte is not even close to those traffic snarls.

We also gained 1000 sf of house for $90K less than our Boston house. If we had moved the same distance we were from Boston, we could have saved another $90K!

Spring is March 21st or before. Fall lasts from Sept to Dec. Both are gorgeous. It might snow once a year. When it does, we just stay home. Very civilized.

The streets are clean.

Our kids received an excellent education at CMS. The UNC system is top of the list for educational value for residents.

There are negatives here, but fewer then most places this size for sure. plus the city is proactive in addressing things in a forward looking manner. The light rail line is an example.

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