Movement of the people


With age comes wisdom. KOIN had a story up the other day about how retirees are moving out of Portland in droves. It's now the fourth least desirable city in the country for one's golden years, according to one annual study that tracked seniors who voted with their feet. The top three retiree population losers were New York, L.A., and Chicago.

Oregon was not in the top 10 states for out-migration. But Portland made the list of most unwanted cities. 

I'll bet most of the 4100 or so retirees who left town last year were people who would have voted sensibly had they stayed. And the 2300 or so who moved in are probably naïve enough to think that people like Mike Schmidt and Jessica Vega Pederson are who you want running things. I don't think relief on the leadership front is imminent.

One factor affecting the exodus might be how the city is no longer such a great place to raise kids. The grandmas and grandpas, in addition to watching their money closely, tend to go where the grandkids are. These days, that's more likely to be the 'burbs.

But more than anything else, it's the taxes, I'm sure. Gas tax, arts tax, homeless tax, preschool tax – the old people notice these things, and they know they can get a much better deal elsewhere.



Comments

  1. Don’t forget the state of Oregon estate tax

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  2. Washington has one, too. But the Oregon version is particularly bad.

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  3. I'm closing in on 80 and I am not going to retire ever, but I am one of those who got out of Dodge last year. It was one of the best decisions I've ever made for my personal peace of mind. Besides all the stuff that you mention, the thing lit my fire, above all, was the banal and seemingly acceptable ugliness of the street scene that has become Portland's most unavoidable feature. I have moved all of my business and personal dealings out of PDX, per se, and only rarely venture the 25 miles back into the shit hole it has become. What a relief.

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  4. Also telling is the nearly 20% senior population. But we should all buy e-bikes for our golden years, per the BikePDX true believers. There are SO many reasons to skedaddle.

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  5. Weird study ... assumes 60 years old is "retirement age." For a lot of white collar folks, 60 can be prime income-earning years. For many of these folks, they are finally empty nesters who can actually save for retirement. The real deal killer for these people is MultCo's Preschool for All income tax. It doesn't just hit you if you live here, it hits you if you work here. That's one reason why so many downtown offices are empty--those upper management folks are begging their bosses to be transferred out of downtown.

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    1. The worst is the Tri-Met payroll tax. Sucking blood out of the whole tri-county metro for the crime trains. When it's time to move on, out of Oregon entirely is the best move tax-wise.

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    2. I dunno, I think the Art Tax is the most annoying. It's an unconstitutional head tax that has been jerry-rigged into existence thanks to inadequate Oregon courts.

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  6. It sounds to me as if the James G. Blaine Society program to divert immigrants from Oregon is working. Keep working on that shitty image for Portland. Send them to Vegas, or Cincinnati.

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    1. You're sending away old people with money. See how that works for you.

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    2. It’s not just old people. Young entrepreneurs don’t like the anti business tax structure.

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  7. So a net loss of 1.5% of people over 60? Portland is indeed a dump, but that is hardly a newsworthy trend.

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    1. The story is that it’s the fourth worst in the country.

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  8. 1.5% in only one year is a huge. Also, this age group is one that is typically the most wealthy. This is just another data point providing evidence that those with resources and can live elsewhere are, on balance, choosing to leave. Good luck supporting the infrastructure when those with the money aren't around any more.

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  9. "The city is no longer such a great place to raise kids." That's what the parents have been concluding for years: enrollment in Portland Public Schools has fallen by 6% in 10 years, by 20% in the last 25 years, and by 33% in the last 50 years, even though the total population of the district has increased from 398,000 in 1990 to about 510,000 today. To be fair to the district, it was forecast in 2000 that enrollment would drop by 10% between 2000 and 2010 in all scenarios except high immigration ("The Path Ahead," B. Edmonston, R. Lycan, R. Proehl, page 9, published by PSU's Population Research Center in October 2000.)

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    1. There are really not many kids to enroll anyway. Living back in my old neighborhood five years ago, seeing a child was a rare occurrence. There used to be 20 to a block or so. I am childless myself, but they definitely do bring a certain vitality to a neighborhood.

      Keep Jefferson open!

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  10. Don't worry they are inflating the dollar so no matter where you live you will not be able to afford even basic things. They want us all back to the poor farm with "universal income" based on whether you've been a good boy or girl. And it's coming a lot faster than you think it is.

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  11. something something where young people come to retire.

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  12. It's not just the high taxes, but the complete lack of common sense about providing basic services. Just one small example, if I may: no street cleaning. Unless you live in a leaf district or on a main artery, your street hasn't been cleaned in two years. The large tree in my median strip has dropped two years' worth of leaves into the gutter, and they have not been swept. [But I'm still paying for street cleaning in leaf districts.] Meanwhile, the city is on an opt-out-only street tree planting campaign, one neighborhood at a time. Is the city ever going to resume sweeping? One has to assume not. So, eventually, we end up with more and more filthy streets, not to mention more and more prohibitively costly sidewalk repairs, which, of course, the city doesn't give a damn about because they don't pay for it. I don't know. They think they're going to save the planet with street trees, while building infill housing everywhere, but spending money on street cleaning, one of the most environmentally worthwhile things a city can do (and bike friendly, too) is too much to ask.

    And no, since you ask, I won't be cleaning the street leaves myself. The last time I called the city about an abandoned auto out front, I was told, "The city owns the street, and the city has decided the vehicle can stay there." So, the city owns the street. The city can clean it. Or not.

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