I grew up in Kansas and have lived in Kansas all my life. My family has owned a lake-house in Missouri for over 40 years and now I own the vacation lake-house. My goal someday is to live permanently at a large lake and not own two separate residences.
In 2010 I retired from my government job and for decades Kansas does not tax state/local government pensions. If I decide to retire and live in Missouri, Missouri will tax part of my government pension. I've decided to look at other large lakes to live on and found a large lake (Texoma) that boarders both Oklahoma and Texas.
I have been looking at the Pro/Con at several states, (Lakes). If I go to Missouri they will tax part of my pension and the property/sales tax for boats/autos is very similar for both Kansas and Missouri. It should be noted that Kansas just lowered boat property tax from 30% to 5% and since 1993 RV's have been taxed by weight, not the value. On lake Texoma, both Oklahoma/Texas do not have property taxes on boats or automobiles. Texas has no state income taxes and Oklahoma charges only an sales/excise tax of 3.25% for boat and auto purchases. Oklahoma will tax my pension but Texas doesn't.
My point is that Missouri has some of the best lakes in the country but for tax purposes it loses its appeal. There are many people from Kansas who boat or own lake-houses in Missouri and have a local government pension. I feel if Missouri fully exempted taxing pensions like it does for military, more people would consider retiring to their great lakes.
If Missouri can't consider exempting government pensions, the state could look at other areas to attract retirees. For example, New Jersey in late 2015 lowered boat sales tax to 3.5% with a $20,000 cap. New Jersey did this to compete with Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and Florida. Also Missouri could cut or lower sales/property tax on boats and automobiles. There are 24 states that have no vehicle property tax and 8 states that have no sales tax.
If Missouri really cares about bringing more residents/retirees to their lakes, they should look hard at their current tax structure. As stated earlier, Kansas in 2015 lowered boat property tax from 30% to 5% to compete with Oklahoma/Missouri.
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