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Old 06-15-2011, 11:41 PM
 
68 posts, read 17,307 times
Reputation: 28
Default Taxes and cost of living-Oregon vs. Washington

Hello. I am currently living overseas but moving back to the US soon. I want to live in Western Oregon or Western Washington. I want a liberal, small to medium sized city with lots of natural beauty. I want a place where I can feel freedom. I am mostly looking at Eugene OR, Salem Or, and Olympia WA. I am also considering smaller towns, but I don't want to live in a place smaller than 15,000 population.

My question is about taxes and living costs. I keep hearing online that Oregon taxes are very high. There is no sales tax there, but it sounds to me like property taxes are high, and income taxes are extremely high. It also sounds like the general cost of living is higher in Oregon than Washington and land is more expensive.

I would really prefer to go to Oregon as far as recreation and social life is concerned. Because I love it there and i've spent a lot of time there I feel at home there. I have not spent much time in Washington, just a visit for a few days, and it did seem to have a much different feel than Oregon. But it is very important to me to find place with affordable living. I want to live in a low tax, libertarian-style governance type of place preferably. And the lower taxes in Washington are really making me consider it a lot more. It sounds to me like it's a much better deal in Washington.

Or, instead of looking at Oregon vs. Washington. Should I be looking at more of a county level?

Thanks.
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:25 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW / CO / SA TX / Thailand
10,462 posts, read 16,558,921 times
Reputation: 7337
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenGardener555 View Post
...
I would really prefer to go to Oregon as far as recreation and social life is concerned. ......Washington, ...did seem to have a much different feel than Oregon.

But it is very important to me to find place with affordable living. I want to live in a low tax, libertarian-style governance type of place preferably. And the lower taxes in Washington are really making me consider it a lot more. It sounds to me like it's a much better deal in Washington....
come to WA (it is a better deal, for many more reasons than CoL / taxes) and RENT, Olympia (a few miles west is cheaper and very similar to Eugene) see if you can engage and feel a @ home.

but... if you are and Oregonian in your heart.... you may eventually need to settle there. Aside from taxes, the two states are very different, especially in government / social agenda. Olympia is the most similar WA destination to Eugene.

I won't do any predictions, but from the current economy / fiscal health of the state's financial situation, I would not be surprised to find Oregon to become the next California nightmare (WA may follow, but considerably later). Oregon government and political system is far different and concerns me (I'm a border dweller and in OR almost daily, I also work with businesses there). [Unfortunately the states are both at serious risk because the high populations in a couple western counties dictate the policies and regulations for the entire state, leaving 90 % of the state's tax payers, employers, farmers, job creators, exporters, revenue generators WITHOUT representation. It is very sad as commerce, businesses, and jobs are forced to flee both states due to idiot legislation that overburdens those who WERE the state's stable revenue and employment.

CoL is very similar in each state, and greatly depends on your income and spending habits.

OR = 9% income tax WA = zero for individuals... (businesses are hammered with MANY taxes, some based on income, but NOT specifically taxed as income)

OR = no sales tax, so if you are inflicted with affluenza it will save you $$$.

Property tax is VERY dependent on location, and generally OR has a much more fair method of assessment. WA uses property tax to make up for other lost revenue and you can be punished ruthlessly by an aggressive county assessor. (My property taxes went from $800 / yr to $12,000... yes, $33 per DAY for the privilege of living in WA)... very location dependent, as a nearby neighbor pays 1/5th of my rate. (different county / school / fire / port district). Similar disparities in OR, so WATCH out and ALWAYS talk to the assessor BEFORE buying. Always calculate property taxes based upon your sales price NOT previous taxes. (They may have been under valued or on an exemption due to age / income)

Both states really stink for being a business owner. If you are a business you need to go to Idaho, WY, SD, or Texas.

I would seriously avoid buying a personal residence. Buy a multi family, commercial, or farm, and have someone else (tenant) pay your taxes.

Where bouts are you overseas? I need to find an international destination where I can afford healthcare if Obamacare gets passed. I am not a personal friend, so I don't have one of the thousands of exemptions. I will have to leave USA for about 10 yrs. I have lived in Asia and Europe and have several favorite spots in my sight, both have not checked out SA yet.
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:51 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
8,737 posts, read 20,561,569 times
Reputation: 4647
Stealth Rabbit is right as usual - the hot setup is to live and work in WA, but shop in OR.

Cost of living is very much dependent on your lifestyle.
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:07 PM
 
68 posts, read 17,307 times
Reputation: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
come to WA (it is a better deal, for many more reasons than CoL / taxes) and RENT, Olympia (a few miles west is cheaper and very similar to Eugene) see if you can engage and feel a @ home.

but... if you are and Oregonian in your heart.... you may eventually need to settle there. Aside from taxes, the two states are very different, especially in government / social agenda. Olympia is the most similar WA destination to Eugene.

I won't do any predictions, but from the current economy / fiscal health of the state's financial situation, I would not be surprised to find Oregon to become the next California nightmare (WA may follow, but considerably later). Oregon government and political system is far different and concerns me (I'm a border dweller and in OR almost daily, I also work with businesses there). [Unfortunately the states are both at serious risk because the high populations in a couple western counties dictate the policies and regulations for the entire state, leaving 90 % of the state's tax payers, employers, farmers, job creators, exporters, revenue generators WITHOUT representation. It is very sad as commerce, businesses, and jobs are forced to flee both states due to idiot legislation that overburdens those who WERE the state's stable revenue and employment.

CoL is very similar in each state, and greatly depends on your income and spending habits.

OR = 9% income tax WA = zero for individuals... (businesses are hammered with MANY taxes, some based on income, but NOT specifically taxed as income)

OR = no sales tax, so if you are inflicted with affluenza it will save you $$$.

Property tax is VERY dependent on location, and generally OR has a much more fair method of assessment. WA uses property tax to make up for other lost revenue and you can be punished ruthlessly by an aggressive county assessor. (My property taxes went from $800 / yr to $12,000... yes, $33 per DAY for the privilege of living in WA)... very location dependent, as a nearby neighbor pays 1/5th of my rate. (different county / school / fire / port district). Similar disparities in OR, so WATCH out and ALWAYS talk to the assessor BEFORE buying. Always calculate property taxes based upon your sales price NOT previous taxes. (They may have been under valued or on an exemption due to age / income)

Both states really stink for being a business owner. If you are a business you need to go to Idaho, WY, SD, or Texas.

I would seriously avoid buying a personal residence. Buy a multi family, commercial, or farm, and have someone else (tenant) pay your taxes.

Where bouts are you overseas? I need to find an international destination where I can afford healthcare if Obamacare gets passed. I am not a personal friend, so I don't have one of the thousands of exemptions. I will have to leave USA for about 10 yrs. I have lived in Asia and Europe and have several favorite spots in my sight, both have not checked out SA yet.
Awesome information. Thank you very much. I feel like i'm really getting a clear vision of the tax situation now.

Actually I was thinking about moving to Wyoming, South Dakota or Idaho because of better tax laws, cheaper living costs and better job opportunites. But in my heart i'm a west coast guy and I enjoy a liberal atmosphere with mild weather. So I decided that I will stick to the west coast, even though many of the politics are rather senseless. Although I am still eyeballing Wyoming and Idaho a lot.

I have been living in Korea, Vietnam and Taiwan. All great places with affordable health care. I had an extremely high fever a while back and went to the ER, gopt bloodwork, medicine, etc. and the total bill was about 50 dollars. In the US that could have been thousands.

Indeed, the medical care situation in the US is not ideal and i'm not looking forward to going back to it.
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Old 06-16-2011, 09:10 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW / CO / SA TX / Thailand
10,462 posts, read 16,558,921 times
Reputation: 7337
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenGardener555 View Post
...
Actually I was thinking about moving to Wyoming, South Dakota or Idaho because of better tax laws, cheaper living costs and better job opportunites. But in my heart i'm a west coast guy and I enjoy a liberal atmosphere with mild weather. ...
Having lived & worked in the Mtn states for my first 25 yrs... I suggest you remove any confusion of thoughts leading you there. You will not find comfort in the politics, environment, or co-workers in your job. Unfortunately, there is a very dangerous polarization evolving (and being fueled from the top tiers of our government) in the USA and you won't want to be living amongst your enemies. I am not concerned of an impending social revolution, as USA folks are way too uncommitted / uninformed to participate in such... You will note how we were chided by our peers while we (as a nation) sat back and peaceably digested Enron and financial messes to follow. We (USA) forget VERY quickly and are very hypnotized by the media. (in general) There ought to be a 'skills test' for the right to vote, AND incumbents should spend ZERO on campaigns. They each have a voting and attendance record, that alone will speak volumes.

Back to CoL.

in general (again) WA has a more diverse economy and higher skilled workforce than the OR, and you can compare the states for career opportunities in your field. Statistically, OR keeps a higher unemployment rate tho currently WA is playing catch-up to them (because we chase away so many businesses / employers).

WA will appear far more 'right' leaning than OR, largely because in OR it is 'hip' to be 'left'. WA has not gone there, yet... (for the most part). You will note significantly different caliber / objectivity in the forums on C-D. Many GREAT WA posters have been axed from C-D from spouting off in OR forum. They don't tolerate diverse opinions as a matter of State principle. For me, that is not of political value and is very 'unsafe' behavior.
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Old 06-16-2011, 11:08 PM
 
68 posts, read 17,307 times
Reputation: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
Having lived & worked in the Mtn states for my first 25 yrs... I suggest you remove any confusion of thoughts leading you there. You will not find comfort in the politics, environment, or co-workers in your job. Unfortunately, there is a very dangerous polarization evolving (and being fueled from the top tiers of our government) in the USA and you won't want to be living amongst your enemies. I am not concerned of an impending social revolution, as USA folks are way too uncommitted / uninformed to participate in such... You will note how we were chided by our peers while we (as a nation) sat back and peaceably digested Enron and financial messes to follow. We (USA) forget VERY quickly and are very hypnotized by the media. (in general) There ought to be a 'skills test' for the right to vote, AND incumbents should spend ZERO on campaigns. They each have a voting and attendance record, that alone will speak volumes.

Back to CoL.

in general (again) WA has a more diverse economy and higher skilled workforce than the OR, and you can compare the states for career opportunities in your field. Statistically, OR keeps a higher unemployment rate tho currently WA is playing catch-up to them (because we chase away so many businesses / employers).

WA will appear far more 'right' leaning than OR, largely because in OR it is 'hip' to be 'left'. WA has not gone there, yet... (for the most part). You will note significantly different caliber / objectivity in the forums on C-D. Many GREAT WA posters have been axed from C-D from spouting off in OR forum. They don't tolerate diverse opinions as a matter of State principle. For me, that is not of political value and is very 'unsafe' behavior.
I totally agree with everything you said. Spot on about the political polarization in the US and most American's political attitude these days. Lots of apathy and self-indulgence these days.

I agree on the "diversity of opinion" in Oregon you mention too. Same with far Northern Cal. If you have any views that lean somewhat conservative, you better keep them to yourself in most situations.

I still remember when I was hanging out with some Ashland hippies a long time ago and having a good time. Then we started talking politics and I told them that I am in favor of people being able to own guns, and they completely ostracized me from their group for that, LMAO!

If you aren't 100% left-leaning and politically correct in every way a lot of them will definitely kick you to the curb, a herd of sheep cannot tolerate individuality. I learned that lesson many times. But every place on Earth has it's negative aspects and ignorant people who are just following the herd. Whether it be Liberal, Conservative, Religious, or whatever. Some people need a label to identify with and dictate to them how they should live and think.
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Old 06-23-2011, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Moose Jaw, in between the Moose's butt and nose.
4,383 posts, read 3,977,901 times
Reputation: 1366
Have lived and worked in WA, but worked in OR (lived in Vantucky) as well. I think you'll find you'll save more $ paying 0 income tax vs. paying 0 sales tax......OR income tax, when you consider all taxpayers, is the highest in the country....9% even if you're almost dirt poor.
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Old 06-26-2011, 12:11 AM
 
Location: Hunkering down atop Shasta
6,317 posts, read 5,703,653 times
Reputation: 4522
Oympia is a great place, but it's soggy as hell - much more rainfall even than Seattle.

Eugene and the surrounding rural areas are beautiful and a stoner's paradise. Rumors are that even the cops will sell you pot. I don't know anything about Salem. Ashland is exquisite but but at 22,000 pop may be too small for you http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashland,_Oregon . Bend, OR is out in the middle desert area, it's the favorite of people who like to backpack, bike, climb, ski, swim, or just do anything outdoorsy.
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