Thinking about packing your bags and moving to Oregon? First, you need to know the facts, good and bad.
“The Beaver State” is the home to 4.2 million Oregonians. Despite being one of the most expensive states in the U.S., people still consider it a paradise filled with breathtaking natural wonders.
Nevertheless, is Oregon the right place for you? In order to make your decision easier, here are 10 pros and cons of living in Oregon.
Pros of Living in Oregon
1. No Sales Tax
Oregon is one of the five states in America which does not have a federal sales tax. Therefore, the price you see on a tag is the price you will pay. That is especially useful when you buy larger retail goods, such as technology, appliances, and clothing.
2. Breathtaking Nature And Coastline
Oregon is a state that offers a variety of awe-inspiring landscapes. From lush forests scattered across towering mountains to translucent lakes and high desert lands, Oregon has it all. For example, if you wish to visit Crater Lake, a stunning National Park, all you will need is a car and a few hours to spare.
The rugged coastlines are considered to be a gem of Oregon. With more than 320 miles of public shoreline to explore, you can enjoy a nice stroll on the beach while admiring the peaceful ripples of the Pacific Ocean.
3. Incredible Farmer’s Markets And Wineries
The state is famous for family-owned farmlands which produce high-quality crops and meat. As a result, farmer’s markets are very popular, and local stores sell fresh produce from nearby farms.
Additionally, you will never go thirsty in Oregon. Some of the best wineries and craft breweries have residency in this unique state. If you have a refined palate for good wine, be sure to visit Willamette Valley.
If you care about the environment, then “The Beaver State” is the perfect place for you. Oregon is ranked among the top 10 greenest states in the U.S and has one of the lowest carbon footprints. There are many certified environmentally-friendly buildings, along with the government’s promotion of renewable energy sources, recycling incentives, and energy-efficiency measures.
In addition, many people ride bikes instead of driving as a result of high environmental consciousness. Portland holds the honor of being the most bike-friendly city in America.
5. Outdoor Recreation Paradise
Would you like to be able to go windsurfing and skiing in a span of a few hours? If you are an outdoor enthusiast, Oregon is one of the best places to live. There is a range of fun activities you can enjoy in your spare time.
On fine days you can go hiking on Mount Hood, and if it gets too hot in the summer, you may find relief sandboarding along the dunes.
Cons of Living in Oregon
1. High Living Costs
Unfortunately, living in Oregon comes at a hefty price. If you calculate the cost of living, the high income and property taxes, and other circumstances, you realize Oregon is among the more expensive states in the U.S.
Cities such as Portland, Hillsboro, and Salem have median home prices greater than the national average. Furthermore, the rental vacancy rate in Portland has dropped to 4.7%, leading to higher rental prices and homelessness.
2. Personal Safety Risk
According to FBI data, Oregon has a higher average crime rate compared to the other states, both for violent and property crime.
Furthermore, the state is renowned for bad traffic jams, in particular along the Interstate 5 corridor, which often leads to higher accident rates. Additionally, the speed limit in Oregon is 65 mph, so it will take you longer to reach the desired destination legally.
3. Steep Tax Payments
Although Oregon does not have a sales tax, it ranks 4th when it comes to the income tax burden. The state administers a progressive income tax system ranging between 5% and 9.9% depending on your income tax bracket.
Combining the federal income tax, the state’s income tax, and property tax, you could end up giving up 40% of your earnings to the government.
4. Poor Education
Oregon has one of the lowest graduation rates (78.7%) in America. According to WalletHub, Oregon’s school system ranks at the bottom 25% in the nation, with lower test scores and high dropout rates. A high teacher-to-student ratio is another issue public schools struggle with.
Before moving, you should consider setting aside funds for private tuition.
5. Full-Service Gas Station
Oregon (along with New Jersey) remains a state where it is illegal to pump your own gas. Furthermore, gas stations charge an additional fee for the service on your gas bill, and you will probably wait longer in line.
However, in 2018, the law saw a change, permitting towns with fewer than 40,000 residents to use self-serving pumps.