Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Wednesday's Rant

It is no secret that I basically hate the area we live in. Sure, I like Maine, it has some beautiful areas. And we're about an hour drive to some really cool places. However, where we directly live is not a cool (except for the temperature) place to live. So now Mary is interviewing with other universities. Her goal is to get a counter offer so that she can get more money in her current position. My goal is to MOVE.

Of course, since Mary is a professor, the job opportunities are pretty limited as far as we can't just pick a place and live there. And for me, meeting ALL my goals of a place to live is pretty much impossible. I would like to be...warmer, closer to family, in a "walking" area, in an area where I could work, in a place where there are actual yoga studios, closer to other gay/lesbian families, and I would LOVE to be around friendlier people (Mainers are NOT friendly and even Mainers will tell you this and seem proud of it). Of course, as much as I'd like to be back in Boston, I just know it's no longer possible. Housing prices are outrageous and we really need to own something to not get screwed on taxes.

Being a gay couple and one of us making a decent amount of money, our tax situation sucks. So owning a home where we have a large tax deduction (interest, property taxes) pays off in the end. I also get my health insurance through Mary which is great. However, the gay factor comes in again and we get screwed. The amount that the university pays for my health insurance is added as taxable income. This basically bumps us up into the next tax bracket which, of course, sucks! In Maine, we also have to pay state taxes on this portion, in Mass we were legally married so didn't have to pay state taxes on it. Of course, in all states, we have to pay federally.

There have been some advantages to not being married in Maine. Aside from filing our taxes one way. In Mass, we filed as married, then a "phantom form" as single (so we could get the information for the fed form) and then filed federally as single. We were also advised to file a federal "phantom form" as married so they could never say we lied since we were legally married in Mass. Confused yet? Try actually doing it.

Anywho, in Maine, Mary can claim me as a dependent if I make next to nothing. Of course, when Mary got me some contract work, I had to take a lower amount than they wanted to pay me to make sure I didn't make "too much" where she couldn't claim me. I never thought I'd be asking someone to pay me less. I had also thought of getting a temp job a few months ago and we figured I really couldn't do that until the new year and then I'd have to limit the time I worked. Since I plan on staying home with the baby, it's just not worth it if I just go slightly over the dependent amount.

So aside from moving to Candice-princess-land, I'd also like the U.S. to get it's head out of it's a** and start treating all it's citizens equally. :-)


Trace said...

I never considered the tax issue in relation to a gay couple. I can definitely see why you're frustrated!

It must really suck to not know many people who have a similar lifestyle and yes, if you have more urban hobbies/interests you probably won't find them in the more rural areas in Maine. UGH!! They're not friendly? That's a point of pride?

Maybe an offer from one of the colleges she interviews with will be so fantastic that she can't turn it down...

Candice said...

that is my hope since I know her current university probably won't be able to match any of the big competing offers. plus, she only applied to schools that would be a big leap in her career (better ranked, etc). now i just have to keep my fingers crossed that she gets a good offer.

Lannette said...

This is just wrong on so many levels. Isn't the US of A supposed to be a land of equality for all???? Ugh, don't get me started.

Have you considered living in Southern, NH with Mary commuting to Mass? Just thinking that the no income tax thing might lessen the tax burden while working in Mass would pay bigger bucks - or would it?

I'm going to be sending major prosperity vibes to you - and to us too - Ha! We just found out that it's going to cost us $600. to have a tree taken down, this after $1,000. for a new water heater and a $400. oil bill. I'm thanking the universe that we can pay these bills. What the heck are people doing who can't? I can answer that - they are cutting into their food budget and eating more cheap processed junk and in some cases taking their medicine every other day instead of daily. LOL Yes, I do seem to be on the soap box tonight. Sorry 'bout that.

Renee and Janice said...

AMEN!! i agree 100% with you!!