Property Tax Got You in a Bind? Here’s Where to Buy in the Pacific Northwest to Enjoy Lower Property Tax
Escaping From a Heavy Tax Burden May Be Easier Than You Think
Let’s face it – paying taxes is a drag, especially when you’re trying to become a new homeowner. Just when you think you’ve got that down payment saved, and your house buying budget figured out, property taxes and insurance presents itself, making your dreams seem out of reach.
So, if you could do something about the amount of taxes you will be paying on your home without lowering your quality of life, you’d do it – right? Well, if you’ve been considering a move to the Pacific Northwest and were hoping that a lower property tax rate might be a part of the bargain, you’re in luck.
Property Tax in the Pacific Northwest
Washington and Oregon enjoy property tax rates well below those of many other coastal states. Oregon has the 30th lowest property tax rate of all 50 states and Washington is 29th lowest.
Property taxes in Washington are set by county governments, with a state constitutional maximum of around one percent of assessed value. The same is true in Oregon, with rates varying by county and coming in under the state constitution’s set maximum rate.
Grants Pass, Oregon
Josephine County, located near the southwest corner of Oregon, enjoys the lowest property tax rates in the state, with an average tax rate of just $7 per $1000 of assessed value (the various cities across the county do, however, use different percentage rates to evaluate property tax). Grants Pass is the county seat, with a population of just under forty thousand. It embodies small-town Oregon living and is in close proximity to a multitude of recreational opportunities in the Cascade Mountains, on the Rogue River, and along the Oregon Coast. Grants Pass also enjoys a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and cool winters and a combined property tax rate of only 1.392%.
If you’re looking for the lowest property tax rates in Washington State, look no further than Skamania County in the middle of the picturesque Columbia Gorge. The county seat, Stevenson, enjoys some of the Pacific Northwest’s most beautiful scenery and Washington State’s lowest property tax rate at 0.61%. Plus, it’s just across the bridge from Oregon’s sales tax-free shopping, and Washington has no state income tax — so it’s truly the best of both worlds in the Gorge.
If small-town Oregon life isn’t your style, consider relocating to Portland, Oregon instead. One of the most progressive and livable cities in the U.S., Portland is home to around 700,000 people in a metropolitan area of just over a million. The larger area is home to Nike, Intel, Columbia Sportswear, and great startup, tech, and design scenes.
Also, for a small U.S. city, Portland’s art scene punches well above its weight. Even more great news – its proximity to the mountains, the Columbia Gorge, the high desert of Central and Eastern Oregon, and the Oregon Coast will provide you with near-never ending recreational opportunities. All that and the average effective property tax rate in Multnomah County (where Portland is located) is only 1.12%.
If you’re looking for an even more metropolitan and cosmopolitan place to live in the Pacific Northwest, consider relocating to Seattle. The Seattle area is the home of Boeing, Amazon, and Microsoft, to name just three of the city’s largest employers.
The area is bordered by mountains in the east and the water of Puget Sound in the west, and the city is within easy striking distance of British Columbia and Alaska. You truly couldn’t ask for more in an American city. Though, thanks to measures enacted recently by the Washington State Legislature, King County property taxes are expected to go up an average of 17% this year.
A Low-Tax Paradise in the Pacific Northwest
If taxes are your main motivation to move to the Pacific Northwest, there are ways to get around paying very little, beyond your Federal Income Tax, of course. Stevenson, Washington and Grants Pass, Oregon offer great small town living in the region, while Portland and Seattle can accommodate all your larger metropolitan needs. Either way, the cities and towns of the Pacific Northwest can provide you with an escape from wherever you’re relocating from.