There’s no state or local personal income tax (forbidden by the state Constitution); groceries and medicine are tax-free; no “car tax” on personal property; $50,000 in available property tax relief for homeowners age 65+; plenty of available housing (example: a three-bedroom, two-bath home with an attached garage often sells for $175,000 or less). Gulf beaches are less than an hour away, yet Tallahassee lies outside of the high-priced coastal wind zone, where homeowners’ insurance can be very expensive.

State income tax rate: None

State sales tax rate: 6.0%

Local income tax rate: None

Local sales tax rate: 1.5%

2011 property tax rates:

Taxing Authority Millage Rate
Leon County Commission 7.850
County Health MSTU 0.000
County EMS MSTU .500
School Board
   State Law 5.5350
   Local Board 2.2480
Tallahassee City Commission 3.7000
Downtown Improvement Authority 1.000
Northwest Florida Water
Management District   .0400
Inside City Limits 19.8730
Outside City Limits 16.1730
Downtown Improvement 20.8730

Rates down 27 percent since 2008

As another important measure to help residents and local businesses save money during these trying economic times, the City of Tallahassee Commission unanimously approved lowering electric rates for the third time in the past 12 months. Effective February 1, electric rates for residential customers will decrease by 3.5 percent while rates for commercial customers will drop about 4 to 4.5 percent, depending on the size of the business.

Commissioners voted to decrease the rates two months earlier than originally planned in an effort to help more residents save on energy costs during the cold weather months.

“The cost of energy represents a substantial portion of a household’s budget. Thus, the goal is to provide important financial relief to customers while also helping to stimulate the local economy,” said Mayor Pro Tem Andrew Gillum, lead commissioner on the City’s Financial Viability of the Government target issue committee.

“This is great news for our neighbors and local businesses, especially during these tough economic times,” said City Commissioner Mark Mustian, also on the Financial Viability of the Government target issue committee.

Rates are typically adjusted twice annually in April and October, based on the cost of fuel to run the power plants. The City’s rates remain below the state average. Since October 2008, City electric rates have decreased by 27 percent, which equates to a $110 million annual reduction in electric costs for Tallahassee.