Jim Gersack, VP of Wealth Management First Interstate Bank
As state tax burdens continue to increase across the U.S., many taxpayers are considering establishing residency in states, like Wyoming, that have favorable tax climates.
In March, 2013 Wyoming was rated as the top tax-friendly state by Barrons Penta (Barron’s Penta offers advice for families with assets of $5M or more). Residents of Wyoming reap significant tax benefits due to its tax certainty, asset and creditor protection and state budget surplus of $1 billion.
So why else is Wyoming so special? Read on:
- According to a study by 24/7 Wall Street, Wyoming is the 2nd best run state with regards to account debt per capita, budget deficits, unemployment, and median household income
- Wyoming has very progressive estate and tax planning legislation with more to come
- Wyoming has $6.4 billion in their Mineral Trust Fund and nearly $1.3 billion in cash in their Legislative Stabilization Reserve Account
- Wyoming has a AAA credit rating, the highest possible (and better than the Federal Government)
- All Wyoming high school graduates have access to the Hathaway Scholarship, a state program that provides free college tuition who qualify with both merit- and needs
- and if you need more convincing, Wyoming has the lowest beer tax at just 2 cents per gallon.
When compared to higher tax states such as California, New York, Illinois or Maryland (which recently instituted a “rain tax” estimated to cost Marylanders $300 million annually) it becomes clear why Jackson Hole, Wy is experiencing a surge of tax-motivated buyers.
Wyoming Residency… Start with the Tips Below:
A variety of individuals and resources are needed to assist individuals looking to call Jackson Hole home. Stephan Adamson of Gonnella Adamson, PC states “Demonstrating the intent to terminate residency in the old state and establish residency in Wyoming is a fact based analysis and should generally involve the following actions”.
- Maintaining a domicile (preferably one you own) in Wyoming;
- Selling your residence in the former state (or at least downsizing);
- Spending more time in Wyoming than anywhere else;
- Registering to vote (and voting) in Wyoming;
- Registering vehicles in Wyoming;
- Obtaining a Wyoming driver’s license;
- Renewing your passport to reﬂect Wyoming;
- Amending estate planning documents to reﬂect Wyoming residency;
- Moving ﬁnancial accounts to Wyoming;
- Moving sites of trusts to Wyoming;
- Engaging in social, civic, and religious organizations in Wyoming;
- Preparing and signing an affidavit of domicile;
- Making charitable donations in Wyoming (consider reducing the charitable donations in the old state);
- Establishing relationships with a doctor, dentist, accountant, and attorney in Wyoming; and
- Changing mailing address to Wyoming: ﬁnancial institutions, magazines, memberships, clubs, and insurance.
Each state and taxpayer’s circumstances must be analyzed separately to determine the ability and method to avoid state income tax consequences from a state the taxpayer is leaving. A variety of individuals and resources are needed to assist individuals looking to call Jackson home.
Living the Jackson Hole Lifestyle
Of course there will always be people who choose Jackson Hole because it is a beautiful place to live. With its proximity to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, the surroundings are truly breathtaking. In addition, only 3% of the land in Jackson Hole can be privately owned, assuring the wildlife corridors, open spaces and western character will always remain.
Jackson Hole, WY has direct flights from 12 major cities, making it the easiest Rocky Mountain resort destination for travel. And new for 2104 – Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is named #1 ski resort in all of North America. It is bound to be an incredible year in Jackson.
Package this all together and Jackson Hole becomes nearly irresistible. The certainty, security and quality of life are compelling indeed. Just ask any resident.