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3,628 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The missus and I are thinking about relocating permanently, hopefully some time this year. For various reasons, Orgeon and Washington states seem to be the consensus between us.

Taking into account taxes, cost of living, access to wilderness areas, public recreation, unemployment, and of course gun laws, etc. which state, Oregon or Washington, would you guys recommend?

I've been to both. Both have that similar Northwest feel, but I know there are some differences. Wondering if anyone here has any thoughts or personal experience. Thanks much!

85 Posts
In Oregon you can own and use sound suppressors, automatic weapons and short barrelled rifles. In Washington you can own a sound suppressor, but can't use it. A bill is in legislation to change that. No automatic weapons and no short barrelled rifles. Oregon has no sales tax, but state, personal and property taxes. Washington has a sales tax and property (real estate, land and structures) no personal tax.

Señor Member
5,395 Posts
Outside of Portland, there's nothing in Oregon but nature. NOTHING. I can't call it a wasteland because it's (mostly) beautiful, but as much as I enjoy getting away from it all, most of Oregon is too far away from it all. Except Portland. Portland is nothing but hippies and hipsters. Some of those hippies are the granola-munching, farming hippies that Portland encroached upon, and there are definitely places to live in the "country" that are just a short drive away from Portland's civilization. But it's Portland! Lots of young folks, little class.

Washington has more going on, and in Seattle there's that nice coastal breeze keeping things a bit warmer--it also has a lot of folks with money building and buying pretty buildings you can't afford to live in, but you might get stuck in traffic beside them as you're on your way to work.

So, in conclusion, I have nothing of substance to say on the issue.

Μολὼν λαβέ
906 Posts
Forget Washington. You'll hate it:whistling:

16 Posts
Hey Matt,

It all depends on what you're looking for and where you'll live. I was born and raised just outside Seattle, been here my whole life. My wife is from Oregon and we visit there frequently. Western Wa. and eastern Wa. are like two different places...VERY liberal on the west, conservative east of the mountains. Lots more rain in western WA. compared to Western Oregon...we get that gray drizzle much of the year, Or. has far more sunny days. Eastern Wa. is much more desert-like, as is eastern Ore. Both have their positives and negatives.

I think the gun laws are much better in Washington, oddly enough. It's a shall-issue state (Oregon isn't I don't believe) and you can carry pretty much anywhere. Oregon has all sorts of bizarre local gun laws that, from what I understand, are much more restictive than ours here depending on where you live...someone please correct me if I'm wrong on this. Oregon doesn't share reciprocity with Wa. concealed license holders.

As much as I love Oregon (and Portland), I'd never live there. Lots of people live in Vancouver Wa. just over the Columbia River (WA/OR border) and get the best of both worlds in terms of taxes, etc. Like I said, it all depends on what you want, where you'll work, etc.

Best of luck...for all its faults, the Pacific Northwest is VERY hard to beat!

873 Posts
Between the 2, and based on taxes, weather, and cost-of-living, I'd choose to live in Oregon, somewhere around Medford.

Oregon has a personal income tax, but overall their state taxes are lower than Washington. And, strictly $$ speaking, it appears Oregon government is better managed.

Some of the best fishing and hunting to be had. And, Oregon and Washington both are "shall issue" states.
5,145 Posts
If part of your criteria is personal and economic freedom, then consider the report called Freedom in the 50 States from the Mercatus Center. This study is about two years old, but I think still fairly relevant.

State profile summaries are below. Idaho beats both OR and WA hands down.

Oregon (#36 economic, #7 personal, #27 overall)
is the freest Pacific state. Oddly, government spending
is high but taxes are low, resulting in rather high
state debt. Public safety and administration look
particularly ripe for cutting. Gun control laws are
about average. Marijuana possession is decriminalized
below a certain level, and there is medical
marijuana (cultivation and sale are felonies, though).
Oregon is one of the few states to refuse to authorize
sobriety checkpoints. Oregon is the only state to
permit physician-assisted suicide. Private and home
school regulations are quite reasonable. State landuse
planning is far advanced. The minimum wage is
the highest in the country when adjusted for average
wages. Labor laws are generally poor. Occupational
licensing is pervasive. Arrests for victimless crimes
are surprisingly high (22.2% of all arrests). Smoking
bans are extensive, but there are still some exemptions
for bars and workplaces.

Washington scores #41 on economic freedoms,
#35 on personal freedoms, and #44 overall. While
taxes are fairly low, spending is higher than average,
and accordingly government debt is quite high. The
government payroll is much larger than average. For
a liberal state, gun laws are quite reasonable. Alcohol
is fairly tightly controlled, with taxes on spirits the
highest in the country by far (effectively $21.15 per
gallon). Marijuana laws are a bit better than average,
but making high-level possession and low-level cultivation
misdemeanors and low-level possession a civil
offense would help further. Washington does not
authorize sobriety checkpoints. Educational regulation
is absurdly tight, with private schools needing
state approval and under certain conditions teacher
licensing, and home schoolers needing to meet
teacher qualifications, annual standardized testing,
and extensive recordkeeping rules, along with other
requirements. Land-use planning is becoming more
centralized. Labor and health insurance laws are
poor. Asset forfeiture has been reformed, but eminent
domain has not. Cigarette taxes are high, and
smoking bans are extensive.

True to its reputation, Idaho is among the freest
states in the country (#4 overall, #8 personal, #5
economic). After Wyoming, Idaho has the lowest
government debt ratio in the United States. Taxes
and spending are a bit lower than average, but Idaho
could presumably improve its record here, especially
in cutting government payroll. Individual income
taxes are actually rather high. Idaho has a very
relaxed gun control regime, but it could improve
its marijuana laws substantially. The state has few
restrictions on motorists other than the usual trinity
(secondary seat-belt enforcement, open-container,
auto liability insurance). It deserves credit
for being one of the few states to refuse to authorize
invading sobriety checkpoints. On educational
policies Idaho really shines, with only nine
years of mandated schooling and no regulations on
private or home schooling other than curriculum
requirements. One personal freedom Idaho needs
to reform is asset forfeiture; the state has the same
regime as Georgia. Labor laws are generally solid,
and health insurance mandates add only 21 percent
to the cost of premiums.41 Occupational licensing is
rare. However, eminent domain reform has not gone
as far as it should.

1,844 Posts
Really, why?
Too many reasons to list, I don't even know where to begin, but work and play are WAAAAY better here than in OR.

Pikes place market, the space needle, emp, Mt. Rainier, Mt. St Helens, the Olympics, the ferries, Alki beach, Ocean shores, the puget sound. It's so beautiful here, and so much to do, whether you are an indoors or outdoors guy.

Gun laws are great, the state is the only one allowed to make firearms laws. If you are tried and aquitted as a result of self defense, the state will reimburse your legal expenses and time lost.

How often do you see or hear about Portland in a movie? Seattle is always in movies, the news, shows, etc. There's a reason for it. It's one of the most desireable places to live in the country. And guess what: it's in WA!!!! lolololololololololol

944 Posts
Washington is awesome. But the blithering idiot libs are everywhere, so beware. The Puget sound region is really nice. My backyard is a State park, no one for miles behind my house, it is sweet.

9 months of rain a year will break you for your first couple of years though, but you get used to it. Better bring your ponchos.

1,844 Posts
Washington is awesome. But the blithering idiot libs are everywhere, so beware. The Puget sound region is really nice. My backyard is a State park, no one for miles behind my house, it is sweet.

9 months of rain a year will break you for your first couple of years though, but you get used to it. Better bring your ponchos.
Your backyard could be a state park anywhere, it's not limited to WA you know that right? :rofl:

And it doesn't rain that much here, please. People act like it rains here 24 hours a day 9 months out of the year. It doesn't...

But the nice thing about the rain that does fall here 7-8 months out of the year is that it keeps the temperature fairly mild. Rarely do you see freezing temps.

The best thing for the OP to do is to book a flight to OR or WA, rent a car and check out both. Do this after you've done your online research. Moving is going to be expensive anyways, so making sure you pick the right place will be very important. The expense of a ticket and a rental car will pay for itself in happyness.
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