There is a active debate over at Greater, Greater Washington about the report showing that in most cases it is cheaper to live in DC in regards to taxes. I've lived in Arlington, Hyattsville, College Park and the District and yes, over time the District has lower taxes. I say over time, because I distinctly remember getting less take home pay after I moved from Maryland to the District and looking at my taxes now, they aren't bad.
To those who say you can't live in Arlington without a car (re: VA car tax), I lived in Arlington for 2 years without one and did fine thank you very much. Hell, until I married the Help, this household has been carfree since 1993.
I didn't move to the District because of the property taxes or the income taxes or the schools. I moved here because of my commute and what I wanted my future commute to be. Also because I wanted to own a house and compared to the surrounding areas, DC has the best set up with programs, tax incentives, and helpful non-profits for 1st time homebuyers. As a homeowner the lower property tax for staying in my current home is an incentive to stay put, as well as the 20-30 minute commute and the ability to walk home on a nice sunny day.
We have been pondering a what if of moving to a spot where The Help's commute would be nicer into PG Co, and well the property taxes there would have us factoring that into the price. Yes, the houses are cheaper in PG but watch out for the property tax and the locality rates for income taxes.
And schools not a factor for us. There are no children in our house now. I have cousins in Virginia who send there kids (my 3rd cousins) to a private Christian school. Not because the schools in that area are bad but because their kids really liked their school, and that's where their friends go. And some other friends in Maryland, their kid goes to a private secular school for his 'special needs', adult siblings went to Catholic schools. And we know some people who (gasp!) homeschool in Maryland. My first cousins who grew up in Laurel, went to public school, probably because my aunt was a teacher there. Then we've got DC friends and neighbors carting their kids off to charter schools. So in our circle of friends and associates no one goes to the 30K a year elite private school that gets dragged out in these conversations. And no, DCPS is not the worst in the nation. I compared Dunbar to my old high school and Dunbar was better. I went to school with rednecks and fared ok. If and when children become part of our household, we'll do the charter and out of boundary lotto dance.
But that's years away, if at all. Who knows I could wind up getting my high paying dream job in Florida or Northern California and this would be moot.