How Florida Living Compares
St. Petersburg Times (FL) (02/17/02) Vol. 16, No. 1 p.14; Ahern, Maureen Byrne

A common argument among people relocating to Florida is that the lower cost of living and the absence of a state income tax there justifies the smaller salaries. According to the 2000 edition of Places Rated Almanac, however, it is almost as expensive to live in Tampa Bay as it is in the Kansas City, Kan./Kansas City, Mo., metropolitan area. Despite the lack of state income tax in Florida, Tampa Bay residents do pay an estimated $1,103 in sales taxes. In comparison, Kansas City residents pay $1,005 in sales tax plus an average of $2,616 in state income taxes. However, denizens of the latter have more money to pay those taxes--the typical household income is $77,000 in Kansas City compared to $65,000 in Tampa Bay. As far as housing costs, they average $99,100 in the Bay Area and $125,600 in the Kansas City area; rent averages $590 and $540, respectively. Finally, property taxes in the Tampa Bay region cost homeowners about $2,150 compared to costs of $1,590 in the Kansas City metropolis.

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