North Carolina has a multi-layered tax system. You income and assets (annual vehicle taxes for example) are both taxed. You pay sales tax on food. For some reason, food in NC costs generally 150-200% more than what I was accustomed to paying. Utilities are ridiculous here. This past winter, a warm winter, I was paying nearly $300 a month to heat my modestly small home while I was paying around $140-$170 to heat a much larger house in WA during much colder winters. Property tax rates where I lived were a few cents less than here, but the property value was much higher, negating the differences.
Based on my experience, the only thing that has a lower cost in NC is car insurance.
The biggest hurdle to me moving back that way is the initial cost of moving across the country and getting re-settled. I did it in early 2011 to come this way. Its not something I want to do again soon.
Guess that depends on where you are moving from and to.
I know that moving from Virginia Beach/Norfolk to Winston saved me a ton of money in food and housing. My rent in 1998 for a two bedroom condo in VA Beach was higher than my mortgage now. And my sister inlaw living in Southern California paid twice as much for a smaller house with less land. And her property tax is 5 times what mine is.
On the other hand, one of my coworkers lives in Iowa, and paid next to nothing for his land.