Two Letters Re: Opinion on The Retreat Potential of New Hampshire?

Hi, Jim:
I appreciated your comments regarding New Hampshire as a potential retreat site in today’s SurvivalBlog item. While I live in Idaho and am mostly pleased with the state, I did have occasion to visit Vermont six months ago. I was highly impressed with several gun stores I visited, and from information I learned from the stores’ staff members. In actuality, I was very surprised that their gun laws were less restrictive than Idaho’s. Thanks for the blog and your writings. Cheers! – TLP

JWR Replies: The gun laws in Vermont are indeed favorable (most notably the legality of concealed carry without a permit), but the taxes? No thanks! New Hampshire has much lower taxes. Here is a snippet from my recently-released book, Rawles on Retreat and Relocation:

Total Tax Burden
It can be useful to look at the Total Tax Burden of a state. This includes: property taxes, income taxes, and sales taxes combined: Taxes as a percentage of income (as of 2002):
The Best:
Alaska 6.3%
New Hampshire 7.6%
Tennessee 8.3%
Colorado 8.4%
South Dakota 8.9%

The Worst:
Maine 13.6%
New York 12.9%
Wisconsin 11.9%
Vermont 11.7%
Hawaii 11.6%
Note: Includes state and local taxes including property and sales tax, excise tax and some business taxes. You may pay even more if your income is considerably higher than average, or if you live in an area of the state with high property taxes.


As a lifelong Wyoming resident, I never could quite figure out what the “Free Staters” were all about. From what I gathered, they wanted to move en masse to some particular state and “set things right”. I understand that Wyoming is/was one of the target states.

Wyoming is no paradise. We have a harsh climate, short growing season, high energy prices, sales tax, over-priced real estate and a huge governmental bureaucracy. On top of all that, about the only people here who welcome newcomers are the bankers and real estate agents.

I live a few miles out in the sticks from the nearest town. That town has a population of around 200. We have no mail delivery, so we all make a daily pilgrimage to the post office. It’s the social event of the day. The other morning, I was at the post office, waiting my turn at the window. The fellow ahead of me is telling the postmaster why he moved here from some place in Colorado. “Yeah… the gangs took over the town. Got to be where my wife couldn’t go shopping by herself.”

Jim (the postmaster) simply asked: “Well, what did you do about it?”

The guy said nothing. But in reality, what had the guy done? He’d let himself be run out of town by some hoodlum, hoping that he’d be able to find security at someone else’s table.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have much trust in a fella who moves in next door, crowing about rights and liberty after he’s just proved that he values neither enough to stand his ground. – Dutch in Wyoming