There are many reasons why moving to a new city makes sense. Relocating for work, moving for retirement, or just changing things up. Avoiding taxes is another reason, and it’s a pretty good one too.
If state income taxes don’t get you, then sales taxes or estate taxes will, so taxes are one of the big things people consider when making a move. Lower taxes are just one reason these 15 cities are so popular for people from highly taxed states. Not only are they the best cities for low taxes, but they offer so much more.
Redfin compiled a list of the best cities for low taxes that are attracting new people. Oddly enough, we’re going to spend a bit of time visiting the states with the least-fair tax systems, including many of the top 10 and the city at No. 1. Plus, we’ll encounter a small city (page 6) among much larger metropolises.
- Median home price: $270,000
- State and local tax rate: 7.3%
Mild weather, walkable neighborhoods, cultural diversity, and 1.5 million new jobs by 2040 make Atlanta a magnet for people moving from highly taxed states. Lots of the most popular neighborhoods, such as Inman Park, Little Five Points, and Virginia Highland, are extremely walkable and surrounded by parks.
Next: Low taxes, affordable, and great food.
14. Charlotte, N.C.
- Median home price: $244,000
- State and local tax rate: 7.2%
Affordability? Check. Charlotte residents live in one of the most affordable cities in the United States. A great food and beverage scene? Charlotte has that, too. Plus, it’s a great place for foodies. The state and local taxes are reasonable too, which is why it’s so attractive for people leaving high tax states.
Next: Giving Russia a run for its money.
13. Richmond, Va.
- Median home price: $235,000
- State and local tax rate: 6.9%
Virginia’s capital is a long way from the urban crunch of Washington, D.C. and its suburbs, but it has other drawing points aside from being one of the best cities for low taxes. Did you know the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has the largest Faberge egg collection outside of Russia? Well, now you do. Affordable housing plus a ton of cultural and entertainment events make Richmond a winner.
Next: This city isn’t just for retirees.
12. Salt Lake City
- Median home price: $295,000
- State and local tax rate: 6.7%
It’s one of the best cities for retirement, but Salt Lake City has a lot going for younger people, too. U.S. News & World Report ranks it as one of the best places to live, it’s affordable, unemployment is low, and it’s one of the best cities for low taxes in the U.S.
Next: Low taxes and great vices await in our next city.
- Median home price: $394,000
- State and local tax rate: 5.9%
Sure, housing in Denver isn’t cheap and winter in the mountains is tough, but it’s one of the best cities for low taxes and a haven for people moving from highly taxed states. If the low taxes aren’t enough of a draw, then the outdoor recreation, outstanding craft beer scene, and some of the loosest marijuana laws in the country sweeten the pot.
Next: Going to a city with taxes almost half what they are across the river.
10. Vancouver, Wash.
- Median home price: $334,000
- State and local tax rate: 5.8%
The tax rate across the Columbia River in Portland, Ore., is almost twice as high at 10.7%. Vancouver has a lot of the same amenities, but homes are cheaper and it’s one of the best cities for low taxes. An extremely walkable downtown and numerous riverfront parks add to Vancouver’s appeal.
Next: A city that’s 39% cheaper than New York.
9. San Antonio
- Median home price: $200,000
- State and local tax rate: 5.0%
No other city on our list has such affordable housing, which is a big draw. The cost of living is insanely low, too. According to Numbeo, San Antonio is 39% cheaper than New York and is one of the most affordable cities in the world. The state sales taxes aren’t great, but Texas doesn’t have an income tax and San Antonio is one of the best cities for low taxes in the U.S.
Next: A nearby city is growing rapidly.
8. Austin, Texas
- Median home price: $341,000
- State and local tax rate: 4.9%
Texas’ capital city is one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S., and it’s not just because it’s one of the best cities for low taxes. Whole Foods and Dell Computers are two major companies headquartered in or near Austin, which has one of the best music scenes in the country. A hot job market and growing population helped the city enjoy 6.1% economic growth from 2011-16.
Next: Are you sensing a theme?
- Median home price: $215,000
- State and local tax rate: 4.5%
You have a great chance of becoming wealthy in Houston, which is one reason people making a move love it. The low median home price makes it one of the most affordable places to live, and it’s also one of the best cities for low taxes. Yet, as one of the biggest U.S. cities, it offers world-class amenities such as sports, culture, and entertainment.
Next: Low tax rates and big tax refunds await you in our next city.
- Median home price: $280,000
- State and local tax rate: 4.4%
Florida is the most-hated state in America for several reasons, but taxes aren’t one of them. There isn’t a state income tax, it has one of the lowest tax rates per capita, and residents get some of the biggest tax refunds in the country.
Next: Let’s head to the left coast for a minute.
- Median home price: $600,000
- State and local tax rate: 4.3%
The median home price in Seattle is staggering, but if you can afford it then you’ll be in one of the best cities for low taxes. Plus, you’ll be living in one of the coolest cities in the country with vibrant communities, great coffee, natural beauty, and legal marijuana.
Next: A major reason this city ranks ahead of Seattle.
- Median home price: $239,000
- State and local tax rate: 4.3%
Yes, Dallas and Seattle have the same tax rate, but we place Dallas higher up the list since the median home price is less than half. For those two reasons, plus a strong job market, this Lone Star State metropolis is a magnet for people moving from highly taxed states. As long as you’re not going to an NFL game or paying for one of the expensive universities in the area, living in one of the best cities for low taxes is worth it.
Next: Lots of fun and a hot job market in this city.
3. Tampa, Fla.
- Median home price: $220,000
- State and local tax rate: 3.9%
Tampa checks a lot of the boxes for people moving from highly taxed states. The median home price and tax rate are some of the lowest in the country. Plus there isn’t a state income tax. Tampa is one of the most fun cities in the U.S. and among the best places to find a job.
Next: One pit stop before we reach No. 1.
2. Nashville, Tenn.
- Median home price: $270,000
- State and local tax rate: 3.8%
Several communities near Nashville rank among the best places to live, and the city itself has a lot to offer. We all know about its thriving country music scene, but the high minimum wage and overall tax rate make it one of the best cities for low taxes.
Next: Endless entertainment — and low taxes — in our No. 1 city.
1. Orlando, Fla.
- Median home price: $251,000
- State and local tax rate: 3.7%
Entertainment options are endless with Disney World, Universal Studios, and Sea World all nearby. Plus, Orlando has numerous museums, plentiful parks, and a jobless rate lower than the national average. Combine all that with its standing as one of the best cities for low taxes and it’s easy to see why Orlando is No. 1 on our list.
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