Moving out of Portland’s new taxes

Moving out of Portland’s new taxes

Portland’s ballot measures have resulted in the second highest tax rates in the country as of this year – a tax rate only second to New York City:

Starting in 2017, Multnomah County voters passed several tax measures aimed at improving life in their burgeoning city. After Metro and the county levied taxes to combat homelessness and provide preschool for all, Portland now has the second-highest total state and local income tax rate in the nation—14.69%—exceeded only by New York City at 14.78%, according to a report from Ernst & Young commissioned by Oregon Business & Industry.
That’s the top marginal tax rate, meaning you pay it only on income above $125,000 for individuals and $250,000 for married couples filing together. By comparison, the only New Yorkers paying the top rate there are those making $25 million or more, single or married. That means plenty of nonplutocrat Oregonians are paying taxes rivaled only by those levied on Gotham millionaires.”

We also have had an over-zealous city sending tax penalties and threats of IRS actions to anyone that wasn’t paying – even though thousands of taxpayers and their companies didn’t know how to file payments for the new taxes.

Get out

Another option is to get out of Portland, Multnomah county, and the Metro area. Before you move, you need to make sure you’re really out. Portland, Multnomah, and Metro have continually gerrymandered their boundaries to absorb as much of the tax base as possible. This is important because the most recent tactic is to levee taxes against residents of the county and ever-expanding metro area to even further spread the boundaries.

How do you know if you’re in those jurisdictions? There’s a tool for that from the tax notices they sent out:

  1. Go to, enter your address, then check the ‘Jurisdiction’ info box on the right. If it says ‘Portland/Multnomah’ or any combination that has either ‘Portland’ or ‘Multnomah’ – you’re still stuck with at least some of the new Portland and Multnomah county taxes.
  2. Go to Metro boundary address lookup. Enter your address. If the Within Metro Boundary column says “Yes” – then you’re still going to have to pay the new Metro taxes.
  3. Double-check your address against the global Metro boundary map – and watch for areas it is likely to expand and absorb you. It’s been growing a lot recently.

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