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I've been 'looking' for a career change for a while and recently got an email from a 'headhunter' or recruiter. They did not give me specifics, but I was told that the company HQ is in northern New Jersey.

The recruiter could not divulge info on his client, but he did claim that they pay for all relocation expenses, housing related costs (closing, temp housing, etc), and also are willing to pay for talent. Eventually, if I decide to dive in, I will find out who the potential employer will be. In the meantime, I obviously want to do my research before I move from Minnesota.

What can you guys tell me about that area? I'm pretty sure it will be close to NYC. I am basing this on my experience within the industry and the type of work they want me to do. However, if he says the HQ is in NJ, then NJ or PA is where I'll live. How are the people out there? You guys are cool, but you're exceptional (Z owners!). I have a family w/2 kids and a third on the way. My wife is really supportive and wants me to find another job than my current one. Of course, it has to be worth the move and change.

Give me everything you got, and don't hold back! Thanks in advance.
 

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Well, I've lived in North Jersey my whole life and I work 7 miles outside of NYC. Personally, I love the area and don't plan on ever leaving it.

Traffic is a pain in the @ss. We are more densely populated than any other state, which means a sh!tload of cars for our size. But that really all depends on where you are. The further you get from NYC, the more spread out things get.

A lot of people do like to raise families here. Our school system is great. I think statistically it's supposed to be pretty high up there.

This area also costs more than most of the country, but for the most part salaries are more too.

If you have any specific questions, feel free to fire away.
 

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Well Smooth, I can speak from experience, and as a relocated Virginian to Cali to PA...

For the most part I think the ppl here in Western PA (although a ways from NJ and NYC) are really nice. I actually have family in NJ (they are all crazy tho) and have been there time and time again. My dad is from NJ (born in Bayonne) and of couse he's pretty rad. My best friend is from Westbury, NY (long island) and she is awesome, and I have a great friend who lives in Queens. I've visited NYC countless times too and have never felt the stereo-typical NYC attitude from many ppl. Of course there are azzez everywhere, no matter where you go. I'd recommend PA or NJ over living in NYC any day of the week. Hey, Julian and DiRN and ZXRage are all in Jersey, and they rock, of course. You would have lots of close Z friends thats for sure, and be able to join the ECZA. And you'd be close to me too! (although it's a little hike). Hey, gotta be a little more exciting than MN huh?

I think the real question at hand would not be the ppl though, it would be (for me anyhow w/ little ones) the school system. I know that the public school system in NYC proper SUCKS! But that could hold true for any huge city (LA included, heck some graduates in Los angeles can't even speak proper english). I'd really spend some time researching the schools there before deciding, after all, it's your children's educations that is important to our future!
 

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Dirn: I hear ya' about the housing and traffic. It's a little ridiculous here, too. Not like NYC, but the founding fathers here never imagined the Twin Cities growing so fast so big when they laid down the interstates and highways. I still shake my head when I see a 1-lane connecting ramp between 2 major freeways. WTF! I think my salary would definitely be comparable to cost of living.

Terri: School is impotent! I mean important. My wife has said that the kids will go to private school if we move into an area with a crappy school system. I told her that I'm the direct result of public schools, and look how I turned out. Anyway, she would have to get a job for us to afford that...

Other questions for both PA and NJ residents: How about license plate fees, insurance, property taxes, and income tax? I can do research on all these plus crime rates, but you guys would know best.

Thanks, guys and gals, for your continued patience. BTW, this is a great place to live, and the job market is one of the best in the nation. I'm getting bored, though. Need a change, and more money for my hard working ethics.
 

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Well, I don't know about PA, but our registration is pretty cheap. Like $30 for a car or something like that. Insurance is the highest in the country. Property taxes really depend on the town. Some are high, some aren't. Income tax is pretty low. NYC tax is insane (for working and/or living). And in general, PA is cheaper than Jersey, but it sucks (no offense jinxxy). There are some parts of PA that aren't bad, but they are probably too far south and/or west of where you'd be if you ended up there.
 

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I'd have to say I honestly can't help out on the tax etc questions, although it seems to be less expensive to get registrations here in PA than in VA. In VA you pay a percentage of what your car is worth (personal property tax). Here in PA I don't think it works that way....

I dunno, ask my father in law, he's the tax comissioner for our township (as well as working for the water authority too). So if Doug decides to pay the taxes late his dad does it for him, and our water will never get cut off....hahahaha (those both never happen anymore tho b/c I am the one IN CHARGE OF THE CHECKBOOK AND THE BANK ACCOUNTS!!!) LOL

Guys, anyone else have info on that stuff???
 

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Originally posted by DiRN@Jul 13 2004, 03:05 PM
And in general, PA is cheaper than Jersey, but it sucks (no offense jinxxy).

None taken, it's not MY stinking state, I am a native southerner! LOL Now, Mom was born and raised here---you talkin bout my momma??? Haahaahaa

I do like PA though...and we just passed the slot machine proposal, so look out! LEGALIZED GAMING!!!
 

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Originally posted by DiRN@Jul 13 2004, 02:05 PM
Well, I don't know about PA, but our registration is pretty cheap.  Like $30 for a car or something like that.  Insurance is the highest in the country.  Property taxes really depend on the town.  Some are high, some aren't.  Income tax is pretty low.  NYC tax is insane (for working and/or living).  And in general, PA is cheaper than Jersey, but it sucks (no offense jinxxy).  There are some parts of PA that aren't bad, but they are probably too far south and/or west of where you'd be if you ended up there.

Registration here for a new car can be steep, but after the first year it max's out at $130 or something like that. Then it goes down after that each year. MN is the 4th highest taxed state in the Union. Income tax is high, sales tax is around 7%, and property tax is not cheap. Living in a cold climate state is not cheap, either.

I would never live in NYC. I grew up in the Southwest in big sky country with wide open roads. NYC would make me jump off a bldg. Especially driving a 6-spd.

I guess it's a matter of getting the best bang for my buck. I had a chance to move to DC and the surrounding area, but the salary offered just did not make it attractive at all. I have a huge house, huge yard, huge garage. I could not find anything even close to that in VA, DC, MD or WV.
 

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<span style="color:darkblue">Sales tax here is 6%. In NY it's something like 8.5% on everything. Here we don't pay on clothes or food. Prepared food (like restaurants) and food classified as "snacks" have tax though. You most likely wouldn't live in NYC if you didn't work there. The reverse commute is not fun. And if you want a car and a yard, you're most likely living in a borrow other than Manhattan, which for the most part would just make the commute longer. The further west you go, away from NYC and toward PA, the more open things get. If you really want open spaces, you would be best off in Sussex and Warren counties in NJ, and whatever's right across the Delaware in PA. It sucks that you can't know where the company is, as some people have broad interpretations of North Jersey. If you knew the type of business, I could probably give you some idea where it would most likely be. A lot of businesses are based in Parsippany (where I'm from) and Jersey City. Parsippany is pretty much central laterally, leaning closer to NYC than PA. Jersey City is right across the river from NYC.</span>
 

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Originally posted by jinxxycat@Jul 13 2004, 03:12 PM
I do like PA though...and we just passed the slot machine proposal, so look out! LEGALIZED GAMING!!!

<span style="color:darkblue">Man, I wish we had...... oh wait, we've had it for ages.
</span>
 

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Ok I lived out side of Philly for a while, so that's closer to NJ than eastern PA so maybe this will help. Taxes and stuff in PA aren't ridiculous. The only thing I DON'T like about taxes in PA is the local tax system... basically you have to pay your federal, state, AND township as well for income tax etc, but it's nothing too drastic so don't sweat it.

Also, if you're worried about sales tax, I think PA is 6. Also no tax on food or clothing. More importantly, Delaware is a quick 30 minute trip away, and the place I bought everything that cost more than 100 bucks. They have no sales tax whatsoever there.

Crime rates in my area were low, and our school district was awesome (great valley)... I'm sure the closer you move towards inner city Philadelphia, the worse it gets in both respects. It was definitely a nice area.

Where we lived in PA was about an hour to an hour and half from my Dad's job, which was in Princeton, NJ. The commute wasn't great, but there are huge corporate parks out there, so I wouldn't get so focused on northern Jersey unless they hint at it.

As for the legalized gambling... if that passes in PA then I guess there's no difference, although a quick trip to Atlantic City never hurt anybody. Well, actually it did if you take into account the money I've lost there, but it was a good time.

All I gotta say is this... nobody ever called Pennsylvania the 'Armpit of America'.
 

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LOL that last comment is great! heehee But I can't hate on jersey b/c that's where daddy is from...

Sales tax here is 7% in allegheny co, but I think the rest of the state is 6%. Our taxes aren't that bad, house is assessed at $120K, state property tax is like $300/year and school taxes (local, township) are about $1100/year--so $1400/year.

And Chuck, they DID pass the legalized gambling thing like last week YEEHAW!
 

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Originally posted by cedusett@Jul 13 2004, 04:25 PM
All I gotta say is this... nobody ever called Pennsylvania the 'Armpit of America'.

That may be true, but at least we're not hicks. Which is more than I can say for about 80% of PA. Haha

Besides, that's more of a geographical designation than anything else
 

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Okay, I knew people were waiting for me to chime in on this thread.

If the job is in NY, I would recommend to look in northern/central NJ. Traffic is sometimes a bitch during certian rush hours and you wouldn't want to have to drive a long time through it. If the job is in NJ, I would look to live a little further west and if PA is a possibility I would go there.

Considering all things, NJ is great for being centrally located to alot of things but it comes at a price, a very high one at that with taxes. Car and home insurance suck. Property taxes as well as income taxes are very high and the cost of housing is probably the highest ever right now. There are houses going up all over the place especially further west in the state where they are buying farms and turning them over into developments. All of this is inflating the prices of housing and soon the bubble will burst and the cost will start to come down again, probably within a year or two. I currently live in Hunterdon County. It is nice because it isn't very crowded yet, its on its way though, but the cost of living there has gone up tremendously while I was growing up.

On the positive side, the school systems are very good and the Devils this year made the playoffs but only to be ousted by the Flyers
. Don't worry we will get you next year.

PA is cool too, along the Deleware river, it isn't very crowded and there is a lot of open space to be found. The downside to PA (since no one has mentioned it yet) is that you can't buy beer and liquor in the same store. Nor can you buy any alcohol on Sunday, unless it is from a bar I think.

If you hunt then l would recommend the counties in western central and western northern NJ, they have some of the highest deer population and I would always welcome a hunter to help keep the numbers down, I hit one last year with my 300ZX before I sold it, seriously they are everywhere.

I don't know, if anyone has anything else to add about NJ, feel free.

Oh yea, for the record, NJ might be the armpit of the nation, but it is also probably the most f*cked up state too and we have whats left of the Mafia so you better watch out.

[RANT]
No offense to all you NJ'ers, I grew up here too, but I really hate the fact that I pay $5000/year in car insurance. That we have two football teams play here that we can't call our own and a basketball team that is being bought and moved to NY. I would say my opinion is somewhat biased when I consider this a "good" state to live in, it is but only for certain reasons. Oh yea a lot of manufacturing jobs are being taken out of the state, its getting too expensive for companies to work here so they are moving their businesses, my job is going to Brazil in a month. [/RANT]
 

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Haha, yeah, but if those stupid fvcks in the city don't blow it, the Jets will be gone. And if the stupid fvcks in Brooklyn don't blow it, the Nets will go back to NY too. If all the teams that didn't start in Jersey left, I'd be very happy. I like the Giants and can't stand the rest of them
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ray, that's a lot of inside information I need to know. Thanks! All of you guys are helping out, no matter what you say or think about your neighbors


We'll see about this job. I'm working on it tonight and emailing the recruiter with the attachments so he can see them first thing tomorrow morning. I also applied for a job here with Target on a similar job/position. Maybe I'll have a bidding war - not! Yeah, if only I were that special and in high demand.

Anyway, keep the comments coming. Oh, btw, not being able to buy beer and liquor in the same store? What kind of BS is that? I thought we were backwards for not being able to buy alcohol on Sundays except in bars and restaurants...Wisconsin is only 45 minutes away. Lots of beer runs happen on Sundays... :goodtimes:
 

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Actually ZXRage, they just started opening Liquor/wine stores (state stores) in some grocery stores like a few months ago here in PA. There is only one in pgh, the rest are around philly, but it will grow, thank GOODNESS! Plus there are some liquor stores that are open on Sundays too, they just passed that also, beer you can't get sundays...You still have to go and buy beer at a beer distributor, or on sundays buy it at the corner bar, but theres not much beer in our house, just wine and liquor! LOL How bout that, the commonwealth of PA is actually getting w/ the times, liquor and wine in grocery stores, and slot machines, what's next? Legalized prostitution (you'd think that is what they are passing laws for according to the old timers!) It was such a wierd thing to have to deal with these laws here when I moved here. I grew up in VA where you can get beer and wine in the grocery stores (heck in 7-11) and only liquor is sold by the state in liquor stores. Then I moved to los angeles where you can get beer wine and liquor anywhere, grocery stores, corner stores, you name it you get alcohol. It's wierd, but I got used to it....
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Here's some comparisons:

MINNESOTA
Sales Taxes
State Sales Tax: 6.5% (food, clothing, prescription and non-prescription drugs exempt); Liquor and beer taxed at 9%. A few cities and counties also add a sales tax which can be as high as 1.0%.
Gasoline Tax: 20 cents/gallon
Diesel Fuel Tax: 20 cents/gallon
Gasohol Tax: 20 cents/gallon

Personal Income Taxes
Tax Rate Range: Low - 5.35%; High - 7.85%
Income Brackets: * Lowest - $19,010; Highest - $62,441
Number of Brackets: 3
Personal Exemptions: ** Single - $3,000; Married - $6,000; Dependents - $3,000
Standard Deduction: Single - $4,740; Married filing jointly - $9,500
Medical/Dental Deduction: Federal amount
Federal Income Tax Deduction: None

NEW JERSEY
Sales Taxes
State Sales Tax: 6% (food, prescription drugs and non-prescription
drugs, clothing, footwear exempt)
Gasoline Tax: 14.5 cents/gallon
Diesel Fuel Tax: 17.5 cents/gallon
Gasohol Tax: 14.5 cents/gallon

Personal Income Taxes
Tax Rate Range: Low - 1.4%; High - 6.37%
Income Brackets: * Lowest - $20,000; Highest - $75,000
Number of Brackets: 6
Personal Exemptions: Single - $1,000; Married - $2,000;
Dependents - $1,500
Additional Exemptions: Taxpayer or spouse 65 or older - $1,000
Standard Deduction: None
Medical/Dental Deduction: Limited to excess of 2% of gross income
Federal Income Tax Deduction: None

NEW YORK
Sales Taxes
State Sales Tax: 4.25% (food, prescription and non-prescription drugs exempt); Other taxing entities may add up to 4.5%. Cigarette tax is $1.50 - 20/pack, $1.88 - 25/pack, New York City is about 8 cents higher.
Gasoline Tax: 22.6 cents/gallon
Diesel Fuel Tax: 20.9 cents/gallon
Gasohol Tax: 22.6 cents/gallon

Personal Income Taxes
Tax Rate Range: Low - 4.0%; High - 6.86%
Income Brackets: * Lowest - $8,000; Highest - $20,000
Number of Brackets: 5
Personal Exemptions: Single - $0; Married - $0; Dependents - $1,000
Standard Deduction: Single - $7,500; Married filing jointly - $14,600
Medical/Dental Deduction: Federal amount
Federal Income Tax Deduction: None

PENNSYLVANIA
Sales Taxes
State Sales Tax: 6% (food; clothing, text books, heating fuels, prescription and non-prescription drugs exempt) Other taxing entities may add up to 1%. Cigarettes taxed at $1.00 - 20/pack and $1.35 - 25/pack.
Gasoline Tax: 26.2 cents/gallon
Diesel Fuel Tax: 31.2 cents/gallon
Gasohol Tax: 26.2 cents/gallon

Personal Income Taxes
Tax Rate Range: Flat rate of 3.07%
Personal Tax Exemptions: None
Standard Deduction: None
Medical/Dental Deduction: None
Federal Income Tax Deduction: None


So by far, MN is the most expensive to live for income tax.
PA has a flat rate on income, but no personal exemptions, standard deductions and charges an arm for gas.
NJ & NY don't look so bad... :goodtimes:
 
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