- - The original intent of my posts was to inform what actual cruising sailors have to do after they "sell everything and sail off into the sunset." Unless you renounce your citizenship, turn in your passport, -and- have no money being paid to you from within the borders of the USA, you cannot avoid paying taxes and/or be exempt from having to have a domicile address in the USA. All your USA citizenship rights to vote, drive, document/register your boat and other related licenses and to pay taxes are keyed to your personally declared "domicile." And you get to chose where that one place will be located.
- - The following is a discussion of the background of such requirements and "hellosailor" comments and not strictly "on subject" . . .
There is something a bit strange about your post - >>>.but I suspect that is like the case now in the courts for Miami and sex offenders. Miami/Dade has managed to use zoning to effectively make it impossible for a sex offender to legally live in Miami unless they live under the Julia Tuttle Causeway. Where they've been allowed to live and even to use the address for drivers' licenses!
- - Such restrictions are constantly being passed by local jurisdictions in the name of public safety
and eventually (sometimes it takes years) they make it all the way to the US Supreme Court where they normally are ruled unconstitutional and negated. No State or Locality can prevent any US Citizen from residing where they choose. However, if you have been convicted of a felony offense you have waived many of your Constitutional Rights (not all, just some) as you have chosen to "do the crime". Let's refer to such felons as "citizen(-)". If you have not
been convicted of a felony then you are a full "citizen" of the purposes of this discussion.
- - But it must be legally demonstrated that a citizen(-) is an "imminent hazard to the public safety" before any further restrictions can be imposed. And that is always being tested in the courts (e.g. the Miami case you mentioned). Many decades ago there were "vagrant/vagrancy" laws which made simple sense - any citizen not gainfully employed and wandering the streets was an "undesirable" person and the police would make them leave the area or lock them up. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down all such laws as patently unconstitutional since there were no crimes committed and the laws violated the right to free movement. Being poor is not a crime. In not so ancient history
it was crime. The result now is all the "homeless" living on the streets and parks. I suspect the "sex-offender" restrictions will also eventually be declared unconstitutional. The conflict comes from - if he is a public threat why is he out of prison.
- - The basic right of free movement within the USA is so fundamental to our Constitution that all infringements have eventually been negated. Again, no political jurisdiction can tell a citizen where they can and cannot live (felons (citizen(-)) currently excepted but under legal
challenge). Nor can any political jurisdiction prevent a citizen from voting in the place they have chosen to live. The US Supreme Court struck down all the southern and other segregation and voter laws seeking to keep Blacks from voting. Voter fraud, trying to vote in two or more places at the same time can result in your becoming a felon (except in Chicago
) and then becoming a citizen(-) and forfeiting many citizenship rights including currently, free movement.
- - Many places in the country have tried to impose restrictions on free movement. But eventually they get thrown out. Nothing happens fast in the legal system.
- - Residency (where you chose to actually live) for U.S. citizens within the USA is solely up to the citizen. Voting in local/State elections is regulated by the States but any attempt to restrict voters for racial or economic segregation purposes has always eventually been ruled unconstitutional. It takes time, but even voter registration
restrictions on having to have been in the locality for "x" days are eventually, when challenged, negated.
- - Tax laws have always - for some strange reason, well not really - every government at every level wants their money - been in conflict with the Constitution. But since politicians make the laws and judge the laws, they are not above protecting their income
first and putting the Constitution second. A shame but unfortunately real life.
- - Regulated activities such as voting, drivers licenses, and collection of taxes have historically required that a physical address be maintained within the USA. Recently the governments tried to rule
PMBO's as not a valid address, but that was easily struck down by the Congress. Many USA citizens live and work overseas and to negate any variation of physical address would mean not being able to collect taxes and all levels of government agree that they will not jeopardize that. And all other things flow downhill from there. Even felons do not lose the "rights to pay taxes." Tied to that is the old "Taxation without Representation," so voter rights are jealously guarded.
- - The history
of some citizens trying to limit the Constitutional Rights of other citizens goes all the back to the founding of the country. And all along that history courts have sometimes affirmed for periods of time those restrictions but eventually end up striking them down. There are some bedrock principles that are written into the Constitution and a citizen's right of free movement within the USA is at the top of the list. Although recently that right seems to have been devolved down to walking . . .
- - "Residency" is strictly defined as the length of time you are living in a location/place. It is commonly used for "tax/fees" purposes to trigger when an additional tax/fee can start to be imposed. For instance keeping a automobile, boat, etc. physically within Florida for more than 90 consecutive days triggers the states ability to impose fees
and taxes. Most other states have the same rules.
- - US Tax Law has switched to using "domicile" to mean the declared place you are living - without any time limits. Many people involved in transportation services are away from their domicile for most of the year. But they pay taxes, vote and are issued various licenses based on their domicile address. If you are "residing" - which means spending significant time in a jurisdiction - say in a high taxing State/locality and your "domicile" is in a low tax State a "turf war" usually develops as to who can extract taxes from you. This has been fought through the courts for many decades over and over and has come down to strict set of rules that is based on "where you make your money" - which devolves down to "where you collect your money." In Interstate Commerce you can declare your domicile and your paychecks are sent there. You then must demonstrate that all of your citizenship activities occur in that jurisdiction which includes voting, drivers licenses, home ownership
- if any, etc. All this is highly technical and complicated and is constantly being tested when a interstate workers try to establish a tax domicile in a low tax State but have a home (residency), vote, send their kids
in a high tax State.
- - Sorry about the long-winded-ness but I have been in Interstate and International transportation for more than 50 years and paid enormous amounts of taxes - so the subject is very close to my wallet.