On the road with America's post-homed nomads

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/09/22/wallydocking-vandwellers.html


Since taxes keep getting worse, I have been tempted to try this. Imagine a future with most young people in tiny homes or couch surfing, empty nesters as nomads with no couch for their kids to crash on, and seniors pushed into homelessness due to the high cost of living. What will the banks and developers do with all that unused real estate?


With the huge chunk of Baby Boomers aging up, we’re gonna need more assisted living - maybe the gated communities can become group homes, with medical staff bunking down in every 5th house.


Does anyone understand how this works in regard to things like income taxes and driver’s licenses? Which state do you file your taxes with? Which state issues you a driver’s license after the one you had when you started out expires? How do you “prove” your residence to any given state when you don’t have a stationary residence?


In the old days, I remember such a thing as a “General Delivery” address, which meant that the Post Office would hold your mail for you to claim it on demand.
Better have a valid photo ID card!


Leaving yourself registered at your last state of residence is the simplest. However generally you don’t need to prove to a state that you are now resident in it, you assert it & they believe you. RVers have been doing this for decades.


In DC, MD, and VA I had to prove residence with a lease, deed, or utility bill in order to get a driver’s license when I moved there. I guess that’s not the case with all states though.

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Interesting, when I moved to VA in the 1980s, or maybe extremely early 1990s I don’t recall needing to show them anything.


If the cost of housing and health care are both increasing far faster than “inflation,” how can “inflation” be down in the low single digits year after year? I haven’t noticed food or transportation getting much cheaper.


“post-homed”? Please stop.


in CA they forced me to be a resident once they realized I was living there for 6 months. I didn’t have to file any paperwork, it just happened once I had a mailbox.

I’d like to see a model of this that doesn’t involve hidden costs or unchecked fee increases. Folks in 55+ communities seem to be having the same problem as their elders. I’ve met five people living in different communities and states. All have buyers remorse.

One had so many neighbors die that it was not only depressing, but also more expensive for those who remained. That community is not attracting a lot of new residents. The others are all getting slammed with increasing property taxes supporting the local school districts. People who plan to downsize into condos face the same issue. Those taxes never stop unless you rent, rents are just as high as a mortgage payment in the Philly area, and available rental units are hard to find. All this makes an RV look very attractive!


From what I’ve read, lots of RVers set South Dakota as their legal residence for income tax purposes. This gives an overview on that:


It’s possible that it dates back to the Montreal loopline GTs of the late 70s, then into BBSing via Pyroto Mountain BBS.

Taxes do not keep getting worse, unless you’re earning more or watching Fox News.


And possibly even more to the point, how do you go about registering to vote/voting?

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OPPORTUNITY, not necessity, is the mother of invention.
Else all the poorest would always come up with the best solutions (a lot of them actually do, but they are usually kept away by oligarchic or monopolistic corporate interests, political meddling and/or religious reasons.)

You still pay property tax if you rent, it’s just far less obvious.


If he ever used proof via facts and stats…

I’m talking about local and property tax increases. School districts in my state are fighting a combination of budget mismanagement issues combined with decreasing assistance from the state because of deficits there. Counties are increasing their taxes for the same reasons. Guess who makes up the difference at the local level? Homeowners do.

This is what is causing many seniors to lose their homes. Their income is fixed or not keeping pace with the cost of living, so they are not able to pay the higher taxes. Even if your home is paid off, non payment of taxes is not allowed by the municipalities who collect them.