This past week we went to Tulum, Mexico to pay our property taxes for 2017. The municipality was offering a 15% discount to anyone who paid them early and that was music to my thrifty ears. It would have been 20% if we had gone a month earlier but we missed that deadline.
We expected long lines and the typical delays that we had become accustomed to when dealing with government offices in Mexico – but there were none. The entire procedure took less than 15 minutes and we left with our receipt in hand. Someone down at city hall definitely deserves a raise!
If you haven’t had to deal with Mexican bureaucracy in your life, then you cannot truly appreciate just how amazing and rare this experience was.
Comparing Property Taxes in the U.S. and Mexico
When we lived in the United States, we had a modest home valued at less than $159,000 in a non-gated community in Central Florida. The house was located outside the city limits and that helped us save money at tax time.
According to the Property Appraiser’s website, the taxes on my former residence came to over $1600 USD in 2016. Of course that included the Homestead Exemption.
Here in Mexico, we have a condo located inside of a gated resort complex. The neighborhood is well maintained, modern and beautiful. We have access to multiple swimming pools, the beach and a host of amenities.
Although our condo is valued higher than our house was in the United States, the property taxes are significantly lower. With the discount for early payment, we paid less than $180 USD for 2017.
Just in case you thought that was a typo – here it is again: less than $180 USD.
Let’s Wrap This Up
The low property taxes are just one of over a thousand reasons why Mexico is such an attractive destination for retirees from the United States and Canada.
We took a 67% cut to our annual income when we decided to retire early and move to Mexico. Although we have to be more budget conscious than we used to be in the U.S., our standard of living is higher here in Mexico.
Sometimes I still have trouble wrapping my head around that one.