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Old 06-16-2011, 10:04 PM   #1
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Texas or South Dakota

Hi all: Not sure where to post this so ...... We are new to full-timing and have set up our domicile (address, mail forwarding, etc) with the Escapees in Texas. We keep hearing from people we are meeting on our travels that South Dakota is a better deal. Does anyone have any info on this? We are looking for lowest taxes, registrations, all that kind of stuff. Thanks for any light you can shed on this.
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:08 PM   #2
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TX & Escapees works great for us. We pass through TX at least once a year (though rarely Polk county/Rainbow's End) ...have been to SD maybe once in the past 10+ years.
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Old 06-17-2011, 02:59 PM   #3
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With one exception it is pretty much a wash I believe. The exception is the tax on a new RV purchase. It is 3% in SD and I think about 6% in TX. I am not sure how a used RV purchase is handled - maybe 6% also.

We were passing through SD when we became SD residents and didn't plan on being in TX for several months. We didn't want to pay NH another $1800 dollars for plates ( that's per year by the way) for the car and motor home, so SD was our choice even though I am a native Texan.
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Old 06-17-2011, 03:07 PM   #4
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Be sure to check the insurance rates. I have heard that Texas is high?

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Old 06-17-2011, 03:27 PM   #5
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jfran304 is right. There is a difference in insurance rates. Insurance for our motorhome and toad was $800 a year less in SD than it was in TX. We haven't made a comparison recently, so things may have changed.

On the other hand, health insurance can be more expensive in SD because Blus Cross/Blue Shield of SD refuses to write policies for full-timers because they say we are not true residents. However, if you have employer-provided health insurance like my wife or are on Medicare like I am, insurance costs are not an issue.

There is only a 3% excise tax on new vehicles in SD, which is a big savings; but if you're not planning to buy a new vehicle, that won't matter.

Vehicle registration costs are similar (I think), but SD doesn't have vehicle inspections like TX. As a TX resident, you don't have to have your vehicle inspected if you're out of state, but you do have to have the inspection done as soon as you re-enter the state.

Both states have excellent mail forwarding services. Escapees is about the best there is, but we are very satisfied with Alternative Resources in SD.
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Old 06-18-2011, 09:32 AM   #6
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I am a real Texan. I wanted to go back to Texas but the economics wouldn't allow it. Cheaper in SD.

There are more important things than taxes, registration, etc. What about your health insurance> This is a big one to consider.
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Old 06-18-2011, 10:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llmrealestat View Post
Hi all: Not sure where to post this so ...... We are new to full-timing and have set up our domicile (address, mail forwarding, etc) with the Escapees in Texas. We keep hearing from people we are meeting on our travels that South Dakota is a better deal. Does anyone have any info on this? We are looking for lowest taxes, registrations, all that kind of stuff. Thanks for any light you can shed on this.
When it came down to my final decision between the two, I picked S.D. just because they don't have vehicle inspections, and Sales tax is 3%.
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:05 PM   #8
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Thumbs up Health Ins.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paz View Post

On the other hand, health insurance can be more expensive in SD because Blus Cross/Blue Shield of SD refuses to write policies for full-timers because they say we are not true residents. However, if you have employer-provided health insurance like my wife or are on Medicare like I am, insurance costs are not an issue.
SD.
I am in South Dakota now, I got my vehicle registration and plates and my SD driver's lic. and checked on the Blue Cross Blue Shield problem as I have BCBS, and found out that they don't write for full timers and when asked they give different answers, but my Blue Cross Blue Shield is under the Federal Employee Health Plan and they didn't have a problem with transferring my account to South Dakota and didn't care what the local office had to say about it. The contract with the Office Of Personnel Management (FED) has a contract with them to cover Federal Employees anywhere so it isn't a an issue if you are a Fed or a retired Federal Employee with BCBS.

This doesn't help everyone, but it helps those who work for the Fed or are a retired Federal Employee.

I use America's Mailbox in Rapid City (Box Elder) SD. Nice folks first class operation they have their own RV park and do everything they can to make your transition go smoothly. All the savings are verified as much as I can verify them here.

P.S. There are health plans available here other than BCBS that may be just as good, one has to check this out personally. The folks at America's Mailbox have the contact numbers so give 'em a call.

As Usual In These Things YMMV
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:21 PM   #9
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We're fulltime in SD and got a high deductible health insurance with Coventry for $150/mo (both of us combined) You can check and compare online with ehealthinsurance.com.

We went with SD (Alternative Resources) because car and health insurance was lower for us there. Everything else was just about a wash with TX and we could easily have chosen either one.
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Old 06-25-2011, 08:44 AM   #10
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Something else to think about, even though it may not be much of a big deal, but just about all, if not all, states now require that we must renew drivers licenses in person. Due to Homeland Security requirements supposedly no more mail in renewals. Somewhere on one of these forum boards there is specific information about it.

Of course this doesn't happen often, every four or five years I believe, but it makes sense to pick a state that you regularly visit, compared to one that's quite aways out of the way.
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Old 06-25-2011, 08:55 AM   #11
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Something else to think about, even though it may not be much of a big deal, but just about all, if not all, states now require that we must renew drivers licenses in person. Of course this doesn't happen often, every four or five years I believe, but it makes sense to pick a state that you regularly visit, compared to one that's quite aways out of the way.
That's a good point. We love the Black Hills in SD and were planning to visit there anyway when we went for our Drivers License. Got it downtown Custer in ~10 mins (we were the only people there that day). When we renew we'll go back to the same spot.
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Old 06-25-2011, 10:50 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Bob (WA0MQE) View Post
Something else to think about, even though it may not be much of a big deal, but just about all, if not all, states now require that we must renew drivers licenses in person. Due to Homeland Security requirements supposedly no more mail in renewals. Somewhere on one of these forum boards there is specific information about it.

Of course this doesn't happen often, every four or five years I believe, but it makes sense to pick a state that you regularly visit, compared to one that's quite aways out of the way.
As far as I know SD has always required in- person renewal but they will give you up a year extension if you ask for it.

When we got ours renewed in May a year ago the clerk said they were looking into allowing on-line renewal after the first renewal that meets the Homeland Security requirements.
In other words once you have met the requirements you don't have to provide all the ID that you do the first time and an on-line renewal would be possible.

Will it really happen? Don't know, but it would be nice.
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Old 06-28-2011, 01:53 PM   #13
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I think for many SD seems to be a better deal. One drawback would be, I sure would not want to be called for jury duty during the winter in SD, Ken.........
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:16 PM   #14
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Thanks everyone for all the input. We have lifetime health insurance through my DH's employment when he retired so that shouldn't be an issue. I like the lower insurance and no inspections for SD and we will be there in august so you guys have really helped make up my mind.
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