Our family is way above average

Think about it.

Wouldn’t you just love to live…

In Hawaii?

Yes, I know, the Big Island has just gone through nightmarish volcanic eruptions. We just had a couple of tornado sightings.

I do believe I would love to reside in the 50th state.

Are you crazy, Fischer? Hawaii? With their cost of Living? Ten bucks for a bag of Fritos?

Well, there is that. From payscale.com:

Honolulu, Hawaii is not merely a place for vacations. Many people choose to live in Hawaii, enjoying the warm sunshine and beautiful ocean views of the “Aloha State” year-round. This amazing locale does not come without an added cost, however, as the Cost of Living in Honolulu is about 65 percent higher than the national average. The cost of housing alone is extremely high in comparison to the national average, as are the costs of utilities, groceries, health care and transportation. There’s no question that the cost of living in Hawaii is high compared to many other places.

But the elephant is the room is that darn cost of living.

Again, 2018 figures from payscale.com indicate the cost of living in Honolulu for each of the following is this much higher than the national average:

Overall : 88%

Groceries: 62%

Housing: 202%

Transportation: 35%

Health care: 16%

YIKES!

OK. Just for fun. Let’s look at this from a totally different perspective. Like property taxes.

Wallethub.com has crunched the numbers on which states pack the biggest property-tax punch. They describes themselves as “a one-stop destination for all the tools and information consumers and small business owners need to make better financial decisions and save money.”

So, what did they find about the biggest property tax punch in America?

Cue the ukuleles.

It’s not in the land of pineapples and palm trees.

No. Hawaii actually had the lowest effective real estate tax rate.

According to Wallet Hub, in Hawaii the annual taxes on a home priced at the state median value (please sit down):

$1,459

By the way, the state median home value in Hawaii is considered to be:

$538,400

My home value isn’t anywhere near that. Are my annual taxes  less than the $1,405 in Hawaii?

Did someone crack you over the head with a coconut?

Now remember Hawaii in this particular study is found to have the smallest tax burden. What about Wisconsin, that is making progress but still needs improvement.

Wisconsin ranks almost dead last at #47.

In Wisconsin, the annual taxes on a home priced at the state median value is:

$3,257

The state median home value in Wisconsin is considered to be:

$167,000

The Fischer family property taxes for the past few years in Franklin have been around $8,000. A credit keeps them from going above that figure.

That’s more, lots more than Hawaii.

Wallet Hub found that the average American household spends $2,127 on property taxes for their homes each year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

We pay nearly $8,000.

I occasionally discuss with my cousin who lives in Waukesha County our comparison. She has a larger house, larger tract of property, same roads, same schools, same services, and pays less than $3,000 in property taxes.

Now Waukesha County isn’t just pounding me. It’s Hawaii?

To be fair one must strongly consider the cost of living in Hawaii where just about everything is much more expensive. In the charts below, the first number shows the cost of each item in the Milwaukee-West Allis-Waukesha metro area followed by the cost for that item in Honolulu and finally the percentage change.

Home price $322,326.86 $925,921.67
187%
Payment + interest $1,136.79 $3,331.94
193%
Apartment rent $877.16 $2,904.70
231%
Mortgage rate 3.88% 3.80%
2%
Total energy $169.78 $504.25
197%
Part. electrical $67.14 $93.60
39%
Other energy $56.97 $44.78
21%
Hamburger sandwich $3.85 $4.78
24%
Sausage $5.11 $5.42
6%
2-piece chicken $4.97 $3.99
20%
Frozen meal $2.87 $3.30
15%
Lettuce $1.44 $2.44
69%
Sweet peas $1.31 $2.16
64%
T-bone steak $12.29 $11.77
4%
Ground beef $3.88 $5.06
30%
Coffee $4.22 $7.56
79%
Parmesan cheese $4.00 $5.64
41%
Potato chips $3.35 $4.17
25%
Orange juice $4.02 $5.52
37%
Canola oil $2.75 $4.90
78%
Potatoes $2.44 $5.65
132%
Dozen eggs $2.70 $3.81
41%
Half-gallon of milk $2.07 $3.85
86%
Peaches $2.91 $3.18
9%
Fried chicken $1.78 $2.43
37%
Frozen corn $1.47 $2.78
89%
Margarine $1.15 $1.99
73%
Bananas $0.49 $1.18
140%
Washer repair $52.85 $70.40
33%
Tire balance $39.29 $60.10
53%
Boy’s jeans $17.43 $30.73
76%
Cascade $4.80 $8.06
68%
Tennis balls $2.72 $2.77
2%
Women’s slacks $27.61 $46.63
69%
Men’s shirt $26.07 $63.80
145%
Newspaper $20.61 $19.95
3%
Ibuprofen $8.42 $12.46
48%
Gasoline $2.43 $3.22
32%
Toothpaste $2.51 $3.60
43%
Shampoo $0.91 $1.45
59%
Optometrist $52.76 $152.32
189%
Dentist visit $91.28 $97.55
7%
Vet. services $39.23 $57.88
48%
Beauty salon $31.59 $51.33
63%
Hair cut $15.96 $15.65
2%
Dry cleaning $12.59 $18.56
47%
Bowling $3.33 $3.87
16%

Source: bankrate.com

Obviously living in Hawaii would be challenging to say the least.

That doesn’t change the fact that Franklin’s taxes are sky high and are likely to remain that way.

And a 132% increase in the price of potatoes notwithstanding, it’s tempting to dream November through May of  snow-free tropical beaches.

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