I've been asked why I'm doing this hotel-stay thing instead of renting a "cheap apartment." Well, to start with, "cheap apartment" and "Bay Area" are pretty much mutually exclusive terms. (Go search Craigslist if you are not familiar with Bay Area housing costs.) Second, I'm now only in the Bay Area about two weeks (between ten and twelve nights) per month, not including special events like BayCon. My previous apartment cost me about $33/day. If I can continue to get the $41 (net after taxes) room rate I'm currently getting, as long as I spend no more than 24 nights per month in the Bay Area, I'm money ahead. Finally, by no longer spending the majority of my time in California, I've established residency in Nevada, and if I'm reading the rules correctly, I now only have to pay income tax for the days I'm actually working in California. For now, I'm continuing to have full resident income taxes withheld because I was legally resident in the state until the end of April of this year and need to have an actual 540NR California non-resident/part-year-resident tax return behind me to figure out the real impact of this, but it seems like it should cut my California income tax in half in the long run.
Now, speaking of taxes: I mentioned to someone in Nevada about how I'll pay less California tax under these circumstances and he said, "Yeah, they tax you to death there."
I said, "Well, yes, but you get more services, too, like better public transportation."
He said, "It would easy to be better than what we have here!" And this is someone living in Reno-Sparks, which actually does have a public bus system. I got the impression he thought there should be better public transport.
"You get what you pay for," I said, "And we don't pay for much. That's why the only way you can get to Reno from Fernley is by private vehicle or a $100 one-way taxi ride. Not even Greyhound stops there, and I assume they won't unless someone pays a subsidy for them to stop their Reno-Salt Lake City buses there."