I’m going to Florida on business for a few days, so I get to stay in my Orlando house where I have not been since the first week of April–too long. If I could, I would extend the trip a few days and stay the weekend, but I must come back to Virginia to try to close on a house here. I miss Orlando, mainly because it’s a really cool city, in spite of the heat. The odd thing is–this is hard to believe but true–, so far this spring and summer the daily highs have usually been higher here on the Virginia Peninsula (Hampton Roads) than in Orlando. Granted it is sometimes cooler here, but the reality I’ve seen doesn’t jibe with the data from a ten-year-out-of-date Places Rated Almanac I referred to before moving up. Last week it hit 97 F in Hampton; next week it is forecast to hit 99 F in Hampton. I recall one day it was ten degrees cooler in Hampton than in Norfolk just across the James River. But it is truly surprising to see it ten degrees warmer in Virginia than in Orlando! Is this typical? On the data will show.
Another great thing about Orlando is low taxes. Here in Virginia it is lovely–I wouldn’t be buying a house here if it were not nice, and I love the neighborhood where I’m buying, but the taxes are incredibly high–at least to someone whose never had to pay state income tax (in Tennessee, Texas or Florida). Sales taxes, high car taxes every year, property taxes, state income tax…they’ve even passed a law adding huge “civil penalties” to traffic citations, milking hundreds or thousands of dollars from citizens in a blatant revenue-generating scheme. It seems more communist than even socialist, but as a citizen of the free world, the thing to do is make money, pay the taxes, and live. That said, ceteris paribus, it’s economically better to be in a state without income tax. There must be a lot of cheating that goes on, but it would be stupid to risk prison for mere dollars. After all, the most valuable things in life are priceless.