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Possible Useful Intel For US Vets re: State Residency

Discussion in 'Military and Veterans' started by nwlivewire, Oct 10, 2016.

  1. nwlivewire

    nwlivewire DI Senior Member Showcase Reviewer Blood Donor Veteran Navy Army

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    Hello All!

    I have just returned back to my State of Oregon from my "recon" to the State of Texas.

    As many of the regular readers on here are aware of, I'm preparing to launch my next chapter of life in SE Asia - Spring/Summer 2017.

    So I'm wrapping things up here in the States, paying down debts, etc., and am going to establish Texas as my State of Residency prior to my departure to SE Asia.

    There are several reasons for doing this, and here's a list of a few things that make Texas residency a favorable thing to do BEFORE I depart US soil for 3-5 years.

    If you are a US Veteran, you may find this information of interest to you, too.

    There are only a handful of states that do not have an State income tax - Texas is one of those states. This means you do not have to file a state income tax every year as Texas does not have an income tax. This is one less thing you have to do every year that can cost money to do. Plus, if you should ever have to return to the US and work, at least you won't have state income tax coming out of your paycheck when you work in Texas, either.

    Your military retirement is not taxed like in many other states. This can be an automatic monthly pay raise for some of you if Texas is your state of residency.

    Texas has a very generous property tax exemption should you become a resident of Texas and decide to buy a little home there. Property tax reductions are give to those over age 65, And, regardless of your age, if you have a VA rated disability, depending on the percentage of your VA rating, your primary Texas residence can be up to 100% property tax exempt. So for example, if you are rated 100% P&T or 100% IU, you could qualify for 100% property tax exemption.

    Texas also has a Texas Veteran Land Board (TVLB). This is a Texas resident loan program whereby, if you are an honorably discharged Veteran and a resident of Texas, then you can make use of their low-interest loans on bare land (minimum 1 acre), or a home loan, or a home repair/modernization loan. This TVLB programs are in addition to your VA Home Loan rights. So, as a Veteran, you have many options of achieving home ownership, land ownership, and home repair loan products as you would have State and Federal options to choose and use from.

    There are a few other things that Texas offers to Veterans, and all you need to do is to establish legal and bona fide residency in Texas in order to make use of their benefits - like no charge for getting your drivers license, no charge for your conceal/carry permit, no charge for your license plate, and a few other things that are free or low-cost like park entrance fees and hunting/fishing license.

    Anyway, you can go on line to the Texas state Veterans and TVLB and check this all out for yourself.

    Just putting this info out there should one of you who is a Veteran may need to return back to the States from time to time and might be looking for a place to hang out for awhile or might want to establish a US base and a foreign base.

    As a Vet, this State offers me the best bang for my buck, and I don't have to worry about state tax filings and the costs of doing that every year.

    V/R,
    nwlivewire
     
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  2. AlwaysRt

    AlwaysRt DI Senior Member Highly Rated Poster Blood Donor Veteran Marines Air Force

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    Yup, I came to the same conclusion but neglected to make the trip to do the paperwork before I left the country. I now have an address there but need to go back and get my drivers liscense to complete the process.
     
  3. nwlivewire

    nwlivewire DI Senior Member Showcase Reviewer Blood Donor Veteran Navy Army

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    Yep. I will be returning back to Texas after Jan 2017 for a 45 day stay. In order to get your Texas drivers license, you have to have a physical address and show 30 consecutive days of being in Texas.

    I obtained a personal mail box (PMB) in Austin, but since I can't live in a Mail box, this address doesn't count toward establishing physical residency. However, opening up a Texas PMB does show intent to establish residency, which then starts the clock on other wait times for other state benefits (like qualifying for in-state tuition rates after 12 months).

    So I need to stay at an extended stay hotel or something like that for about 45 days or so. On my 31st day, I simply take my hotel receipt down to the Motor Vehicle Office (called the Public Safety Office in Texas), and show them the beginning date of my stay. As long as I have a valid, unexpired state license from another state, I do not have to take a drivers test, just the vision test and my PMB can be used for them to send me my license. I can also get my voters card, too.

    By law, it is possible to utilize and apply for the benefits of the TVLB as soon as the day AFTER the date of issue on your Texas driver's license. I found out a lot of info on the TVLB when I was in Austin as the TVLB just happened to have a day long conference going on when I was down there. Quite a nice coincidence! Got my eyes on the Hill Country area near Marble Falls as an area of interest - but that will happen after a few months of being down there to explore some more. The TVLB folks were surprised to have an Oregonian show up to their conference, but they really went out of their way to plus me up on their various loan programs. I also was introduced to TVLB lenders and builders and got a pretty good idea on how to work these benefits to my best advantage.

    I also read the hotel tax can be exempted when you book at an extended stay hotel for a stay greater than 30 days. In other words, in Texas, as long as your original reservation is longer than 30 consecutive days, you are not required to pay the state hotel tax for that block of time. That alone will save a good 300 bucks as the hotel tax is the tourist/visitor tax and is about 9%.

    V/R,
    nwlivewire
     
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  4. nwlivewire

    nwlivewire DI Senior Member Showcase Reviewer Blood Donor Veteran Navy Army

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    UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE

    Today, I paid for my airplane ticket and made reservations for a rental car so I can return to Texas, establish Texas State residency, and get those time clocks to start ticking.

    My room reservation is for 36 days. Day 32 will fall on a Monday, so I will be able to get a Texas drivers license and voter ID card in February, 2017.

    This will also start the clock on my one year residency requirement in order to gain in-state tuition rates which will come in handy when I return from my adventures in SE Asia.

    I've been a bit quiet on this website as I'm really getting close to escaping the US soon. hahaha And I'm mucking out my storage sheds, catching up with my son and his kids, etc. All that stuff you gotta do before you shove off for 3-5 years.

    V/R,
    nwlivewire
     
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  5. AlwaysRt

    AlwaysRt DI Senior Member Highly Rated Poster Blood Donor Veteran Marines Air Force

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    Sounds like you are planning to take courses in Texas when you eventually return to the State. Have you / how have you verified the courses you will be taking at Silliman transfer back to Texas with you?
     
  6. nwlivewire

    nwlivewire DI Senior Member Showcase Reviewer Blood Donor Veteran Navy Army

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    Dear AlwaysRt:

    What I'm doing is starting the clock in Texas for several reasons - some are for "just in case" I need them or want them.

    An example of this is using my GI Bill in Texas after I return home from SE Asia.

    IF I have any time left on my GI Bill, and, I still want to use it all the way up, then I can enroll as a Texas resident and begin school immediately - if I want or need to.

    For me, I'm in a situation where it's no longer important that I MUST get a US approved degree as I won't be needing it for employment with a company. My education is to further my own self and to prepare me to be in business for myself.

    However, having written this, if I do want to attend a US school for the major I want, the most affordable cost of living place with a degree in tropical agriculture/horticulture is at the University of Guam (UOG). The only other school with anything tropically related is the University of Hawaii.

    Guam offers me a better cost of living than Hawaii, so if I need to get a US degree, then this is where I would attend. Guam is also closer to SE Asia, a region I want to explore.

    As for Texas, I'm establishing residency there for several reasons. For the school piece, should I still have some time left on my GI Bill, I'll probably switch majors and take some archeology classes. I currently have three years of traditional, sit-down US schooling under my belt, so I would probably switch majors to archeology (Central American) as UT Austin has a very good program for this. Since I hope to grow trees in Belize or Nicaragua, having a bit of cultural/archeological background could be a fun thing to learn - just in case I should plow up some artifact out of the ground I'm working on, I might be able to recognize it has value and know what to do with it. hahaha You just never know....

    Texas has no state income tax and they do not tax my retirement and pensions. There is no such thing as a Texas State Income Tax Return - just one more thing I WILL NOT have to file every year. Some of my pensions are taxed in Oregon, so residency in Texas will be like getting a monthly pay raise - an extra pizza and beer every month. But hey, why not, right?

    But the biggest money saver in Texas is the ZERO property tax I will qualify for as a 100% P&T Vet. I will never have to worry that my pensions will not be able to keep up with property tax increases and force me to sell out of my home in my old age (this happens to many seniors). Or, in some states, seniors will keep paying the increase in property tax, but their house goes without repairs and falls down around their ears. So this Texas tax break will allow me to keep a footprint in the US while I do other things and will give me a place to come back to when I need to so I can continue to "age in place". Texas is a short hop to Central America, so it is a cost efficient place for me to be.

    BTW, there is no estate or inheritance tax in Texas. So whatever I have can go to my Son without a lot of government hands and lawyers wanting their "fair" share of my little piece.

    Granny, git yur gun! :happy:

    V/R,
    nwlivewire
     
  7. AlwaysRt

    AlwaysRt DI Senior Member Highly Rated Poster Blood Donor Veteran Marines Air Force

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    Oh, ok. Got it. Hope it didn't sound like I was being nosey, just trying to assimilate your information into my cercumstances.

    As for the rest of your post, I agree and also have chosen Texas as State of residence for the same reasons.
     
  8. AlwaysRt

    AlwaysRt DI Senior Member Highly Rated Poster Blood Donor Veteran Marines Air Force

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  9. nwlivewire

    nwlivewire DI Senior Member Showcase Reviewer Blood Donor Veteran Navy Army

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    Wasn't taken by me as being nosey at all. Glad you asked!

    This info might be useful to another ex-pat out there if they are thinking about keeping or establishing a toe hold in the States. Especially so for a Vet who has access to VA medical, too.

    V/R,
    nwlivewire
     
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