Alaska - a "negative tax" state?
As I've mentioned here, I've been sick for the last six weeks, losing 30 pounds in that time, and during my visits to several Alaska hospitals and doctors, I asked why there are so many retirement facilities and "senior care" facilities in Alaska. I always knew there was a senior center in Talkeetna (near the Y), but when I was looking for a place to live this spring, I'd often think, "That place looks nice", only to find that it was either a low-income housing facility or some sort of senior care facility.
As I met more and more doctors and healthcare specialists I asked them about these senior care facilities, and they said Alaska is an attractive state for seniors, and in fact, is a "negative tax" state. I asked what this meant, and learned:
- Alaska does not have a state income tax.
- Alaska does not have a sales tax, though some areas like Wasilla do have a small sales tax.
- Alaska does have property taxes, but there are exclusions and incentives for seniors.
- Of course there is also the Alaska Permanent Fund, essentially a rebate to Alaska residents that is typically over $1,000 per year.
While all of this is true -- and I'll write more about it in the future -- you also have to realize that everything is more expensive here than it is in the Lower 48. For instance, a two-liter bottle of soda is at least $2, and a twelve-pack of Coke is often more than $7. So, while the taxes are extremely low, that doesn't mean it's cheap to live here.