|Waiting to have my number called at the ultra modern and efficient Delaware DMV|
As you know, I am from Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is a beautiful state but riff with corruption, perhaps on second to New Jersey.
The main reason I moved to Delaware from Pennsylvania was that I cold no longer afford the ever increasing real estate (school) taxes on our property. Once the taxes were reaching the $8,000 level, I knew it was time to look for less expensive state to live.
If the taxes stayed steady at $8,000 I could probably afford to stay even though my retirement and Social Security income was only $22,000 (surprise, I'm not one of those rich gay retirees), but with steadily increasing taxes I had to get out.
I could only afford to pay those taxes the last ten years because my Mother gave me and my brothers a $10,000 gift annually. Once that gifting stopped, I had to make a decision. Get a full-time job as I entered into my decrepit old age or move. I decided to move.
Since moving to Delaware in 2006, my taxes have stayed steady at around $1,400 a year. In fact the latest issue of the Cape Gazette stated that Sussex County hasn't raised its taxes in twenty years. I guess the school administrators don't pull down six figure salaries in the Diamond State.
Of course Delaware doesn't have a sales tax either which is nice. Plus they don't have a personal property tax and their state income tax is graduated (Pennsylvania's is not) so I don't have to pay that either.
One of the other pleasures of living in Delaware is when I get my car inspected. At one time in Pennsylvania the law was that you had to get your car inspected TWICE a year. And you had to go to either a dealership or a private garage. No one and I mean NO ONE ever got an inspections through either one of those outlets for less that hundreds of dollars. They always found something wrong with your car that needed fixed or else they would give approval for inspection. Oh the power of the lobbyists in the Pennsylvania State legislature.
I remember once when I got a new car (my previous Subaru), I only had it two months when my inspection date came up. I thought (foolishly as it turned out) "Well, at least this time I would have to pay for a repair on my car." Oh no, when I went to pick up my car I was told the windshield wipers were replace. "New government regulations" I was told.
Now it was ridiculous that I had to get a two month old NEW car inspected but still a "repair?" Here's how Delaware does it. I purchased my present Subaru in August of 2010. I didn't have to get it inspected for FIVE YEARS because it was a NEW CAR. Makes sense doesn't it?
Yesterday my time was up and I had to get my car inspected. Any by the way, the registration takes place at the same time. One stop shopping you might say.
Yesterday I got my car inspected and registered all for $80.00, and that was for TWO years. Forty dollars a year. Do you hear that all my Pennsylvania readers?
Getting your car registered in Pennsylvania is another whole process. Either you can mail in your check or go to a regional center. Every time I went to a regional center (where you also get your driver's licenses), it was grossly inefficient. The whole process would take the whole morning or afternoon. Just like getting your car inspected in Pennsylvania, you have to drop it off at the dealer or garage and come back later. And then it wasn't even guaranteed it was ready. The mechanics had to find some strange thing wrong with your car that you didn't understand so they could charge you hundreds of dollars to get it fixed or else you wouldn't get your inspection sticker which was good for only ONE YEAR by the way.
Yesterday I was in and out of the Delaware DMV in less than twenty minutes. Take that Pennsylvania.