Does commuting save you money? - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Does commuting save you money?

By Mackenzie Patterson - email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  Commuters are an important part of the Columbus economy.  Every day they make the trek into Columbus for work.  However, do commuters actually save money?

Daniel Anderson wakes up at 4:30 a.m. so he can make it to work on time.  He lives in Salem, Alabama, in Lee County, but he works and goes to school in Columbus.  This means he has about a 35 minute drive to and from work every day.  It doesn't sound like much, but Anderson says it can get old.

"I don't get home until 9:00 or 10:00 o'clock, and then by the time I'm ready to go to bed, I have to wake up at 4:30 a.m. to get ready for work.  It can take its toll," explained Anderson.

News Leader Nine talked to officials from the Tax Commissioners' offices for both Lee County, Alabama and Muscogee County.  For example, if his home in Salem was $100,000 then he would pay about $628 a year in property taxes.  However, in Muscogee County, property taxes for that same $100,000 house would be about $925.

Also, Anderson said he spends about $2400 a year on gas.  However, he would not be driving the same distance if he lived in Columbus.  So, his gas cost would most likely be cut in half.

By adding the tax and gas price for each state, Anderson actually spends about $900 more a year by commuting.

This contradicts the idea that commuting from Alabama with lower property taxes saves money.  We found based on property taxes and cost of commute that it is actually cheaper to live in Muscogee County.

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