Fred will soon be on the Oregon trail.


Tom Garrett 3 years ago

Fred is selling his house and moving to Oregon. He hasn't said why, but it's obvious. As we age we need to live with someone else. Health problems can be tough. It isn't safe to be alone. Fred's nearest relative is his sister, way up there in Oregon. That's where he's headed.

Interestingly enough, Fred commented in an e-mail that he hasn't been saying much on the forum lately, but he said he thought the string on the 1 cent sales tax was "bound to" get him going again.

Then he said something that jogged my memory. "Hey, I hope that property tax is less costly in Oregon!"

I remembered a New York Times article that was interesting. Here are the tax rates: AZ 1.21 OR 1.22

So, the property tax rates are almost identical (around the nation, they run from 0.68 in CA to 2.18 in WY).

But...! Oregon is one of only five states that have no sales tax.

That has got to mean...? Well, we'll see....

Here's a question, both for you and for Fred. Which is harder on the average person? A high sales tax or a high income tax? In other words, if you don't earn a lot, which way do you come out ahead?

Oregon has a definite point of view on that. I read that, "Oregon voters have been resolute in their opposition to a sales tax, voting proposals down each of the nine times they have been presented. The last vote, for 1993's Measure 1, was defeated by a 72–24% margin."

Hey! That's a big margin! It has got to mean that the ordinary person feels he or she is better off with the state getting all its money through income taxes, corporate taxes, and property taxes. Let's take a quick look, and compare the two states.

The Arizona annual state budget for 6,500,000 people living on 38,374,000** acres was $27.8 billion. That's $4,277 apiece.

The Oregon annual state budget for 3,830,000 people living on 29,301,000** acres was $21.4 billion. That's $5,632 apiece.

However, Oregon gets its money in a different way. There's no sales tax, so it comes from income and property taxes, which are the same. What that means is that 88% of state income comes from income taxes. With the usual sliding scale, it's obvious that a person not earning a lot of money would come out way ahead in Oregon.

And get this. Oregon actually does its tax budget every two years, (so in the calculations above I had to divide the numbers in half). And Oregon has a revenue limit, and what's known as a "kicker law." What's that? When the income tax collected is 2% or more above the estimate, the excess has to be--hold your breath!--given back.

Does it ever happen? Since the law was enacted, 7 time out of 11 two-year periods, Oregon has refunded money.

How about that? Give you any ideas for Arizona?

So where does your buck go farther? My guess is....

I'll let you decide.

(see next post for note)


Tom Garrett 3 years ago

**Note: The feds own a lot of AZ and OR. Of the 72,688,000 acres in AZ, the feds own 34,314,000, or 47.2%. Of the 61,599,000 acres in OR, the feds own 32,298,000, or 52.4%.

We gotta get that fixed!


Bernice Winandy 3 years ago

I had a whole blog ready to be posted. I lost it when I back spaced. When I regain my normal, calm attitude, I will try to repost it. :-)


John Lemon 3 years ago

Tom; I lived in Oregon for 4 years prior to moving to Az. 10 years ago. Generally I found the financial situation to be similar to Az. in most sectors. The voters have a history of demanding fiscal responsibility and the state government responded. A person would have to look at different economic levels and sectors in order to make a comparative judgment. However, in the case of the average middle-class person, I believe that the person living in Oregon comes off pretty well. The fees for commonly purchased items seem reasonable. As example, auto license fees were about half of those in Az. Property taxes depended on the value of the real estate like AZ but even more on the location. When my property was annexed by a city, my taxes doubled largely due to Special District levies. Clothing and fuel fees differ from Az. due to climate, but are mitigated by the lack of sales tax. In thinking about what products/services I purchase on a weekly basis, the lack of a sales tax makes a huge difference. Generally I feel that those who are lower on the economic ladder benefit from no sales tax.


Tom Garrett 3 years ago

Thanks, John!

I'm sure that will help Fred a lot.

And it says a lot too. Especially this comment: "When my property was annexed by a city, my taxes doubled largely due to Special District levies."

That is my major gripe about western states. Back east, the city takes care of everything. There no special taxing entities. I've researched this thing for many hours from time to time, and my conclusion is that there is a tremendous disparity between what is paid for a service here and back east. I have never seen such a thing as a charge for sewage back there. Nor was there such outrageous charges for water; it was literally free. And not because it cost any less to find, develop, treat, and pump; those costs are the same everywhere--in fact they can be more back east because of the ratio between population and available water resources.

I'll give you one example, but there are many more. New York City does not get its water from the readily available Hudson or any of the local streams. It comes from a lake which is 125 miles away and is brought down in two underground tunnels that run as deep as 1,500 feet below the surface in solid bedrock. In Central Park, 750 feet below the surface are massive bronze valves that control the flow. because of the altitude of the lake, water flows naturally up to the 12th floor without pumping.

Oh well, another example. New London is served by water from lake Konomoc, located 14 miles away. The lake was purchased by John Winthrop in 1648 and the first thing that was done was that all deciduous trees were cut down and a pine forest was planted around the lake. Cost of water in New London for the average family: Maybe ten bucks. When I was there is was around three.

And as for vehicle registration, when I came here from Texas, where it $25 for anything (except commercial vehicles) I was stunned. I don't know what it is, but somewhere in our system there is a consistent flaw in the tax structure. We seem to spend about as much, but the intake end of the pipe is drawing from different resources.


Tom Garrett 3 years ago


Go up to the menu mine on your browser. You may be surprised to discover something that most people do not know is there--a Redo function in the Edit Menu. When I was teaching computers I saw a lot of people get very frustrated by losing something while working on some site, not realized that it was the browser itself that was controlling text, not the site.

Try this out: Start a reply to this string. Type a few words. Then go to Undo. It should erase the last things you did. Then go look at your Edit Menu; you should now find a Redo command. It will restore the Undo. Between those two, you should be able to recover almost anything.

For example, if you had hit Undo immediately after the backspace you hit, without doing anything else, it should have restored your whole entry.

Hope this helps.

Maybe it will help you too, Pat.


Pat Randall 3 years ago

Thanks Tom, I think I am beyond help with a computer. You would not believe how many posts I have lost sitting here reading them with my hands in my lap. Since Suddenlink took over it is much worse.


Bernice Winandy 3 years ago

Tom, thanks for the information.

I agree with John with respect to the economics of Oregon vs. Arizona.

My husband and I have had the opportunity to visit Oregon quite a few times because our son and his family live there. It is a beautiful state. It is lush and green. Mt. Rainer cherries are sold by road side vendors as are hazelnuts. Also, Marionberries grow wild there and these berries make the most delicious jams. We especially like to visit over Thanksgiving weekend. The wineries are open for wine tasting which can be a lot of fun especially if you can get a group together and hire a driver. We have also done olive oil tasting. We prefer the wine tasting. This weekend also opens the Christmas holiday season with a big bang. The cut your own tree places are open for business. Some have musicians playing holiday songs to help you get in the mood.

The winters might get a bit taxing. Our son and his wife have had no problems. However, both were born and raised in the midwest. It is true that just about anything is better than a midwestern winter where the sun goes away in November and doesn't shine again until March or April, if it's a "short winter."

So, good luck Fred. Please keep an open mind. And in spring you will see the most magnificent display of flowers and greenery. Believe me, it is beautiful.

You will be missed.


Tom Garrett 3 years ago

"Mt. Rainer cherries are sold by road side vendors as are hazelnuts."

Reminds me of the valley and the citrus stands before the orchards were cut down and replaced by housing. Was it only 30 years ago they began doing that? You know something? Housing may bring in people to spend money, but the money they spend is balanced out to a great extent by the added cost of supplying water, sewage treatment, roads,schools, police, and fire-fighting, CPS, ADOT and other costs, whereas farms, orchards, and ranches are sustainable sources of revenue without any of the expensive drawbacks.

Arizona is mining water. We need to quit doing it. Right now, if it were left to me, I would have Pine tapped into Blue Ridge regardless of cost. People only look at today. But in fifteen years when the balloon goes up, they are the same people who scream that "politicians" should have "foreseen an impending and obvious catastrophe."

I ask you: What is the value of a house in Pine when the only water available is just enough so you can keep from dying of thirst? This a a desert. We need (a) all the water we can get, (b) no more people.

As for Oregon, it sounds wonderful.

And Pat, sit down at your machine and try what I said in the post about Undo and Redo commands. Do it! Experiment with things you can afford to lose, a few words typed in to test how things work. A half spent experimenting while it costs you nothing but time can turn your whole problem around.

There are also Restore commands in good word processors, so another approach is to type your posts in a word processor and save them; then copy them and paste them into the comment box in the forum. That way you can't lose anything. If anything goes wrong you have a saved copy. All you have to do if copy it and paste it in again. Don't let the machine win. You're smarter than it is.


frederick franz 3 years ago

Tom, thanks for the comments on my plans to move to Oregon. I've visited Oregon just twice during the last 3 years. My sister is planning to visit Payson in November. She will be a great help for my packing up.

I love Payson, but I really do want to be closer to relatives. Thanks for the tips about Oregon, John. Bernice, I will miss everyone here too. But I will have an online connection when I settle in at Grants Pass. I will be in touch!


Tom Garrett 3 years ago

You're welcome, Fred. And you're right. It's an amazing thing, but these days we can keep in touch just as well from a thousand miles away as from a thousand feet.

I thought I'd add something here about this comment:

"I ask you: What is the value of a house in Pine when the only water available is just enough so you can keep from dying of thirst? This a a desert. We need (a) all the water we can get, (b) no more people."

I believe very strongly that PSWID is, and has been, doing a good job, but the idea of turning down the opportunity to get our legal share of Blue Ridge water is nothing short of madness.

Whatever the cost may be, we should pay it. Why? It is no secret that the earth is in a warming cycle. If that continues the ground water in Pine will continue to be reduced. Not only that, it is estimated that the deep water resources we have recently drilled into were put down there 10,000 years ago and is fossil water. We therefore cannot depend upon it. Once it is gone it is gone. Blue Ridge represents a viable, long term water supply. If we do not opt for our share we are fools. Pine and Strawberry can become ghost towns.

If you think you've seen a slump in housing values now, wait until the water woes return and we no longer have any way of fixing our water problems! Even now, the new wells are so much trouble because of sand that destroys pumps (just look at what just happened!) that they may not turn out to be viable sources.

Opt in on Blue Ridge before it is too late!!!!

And please notice that at age 80 I am not likely to personally suffer the consequences of the current short-sighted policy. When I go this house gets sold. I have nothing to gain by taking a stand for Blue Ridge other than the fact that I care about my friends and neighbors, their children, and the future of two beautiful mountains villages.


Tom Garrett 3 years ago

By the way, Fred, I hope you don't work too hard when you are lowering your wagon down that 400 foot cliff on ropes like they always do in Oregon Trail movies. :-)

Which reminds me: I'll never forget the time Lolly and I and the kids drove over Donner Pass the first time. Made me think. We were doing 60. Big difference from those days.

I just reread the history of the Far West (UT, CO, CA, and NV). It's amazing how many people died because they wouldn't wait till spring to cross the mountains. Or because they couldn't relax back and wait in Saint Jo until the winter was over, and then start. The ones that really get me are the ones who got to Utah far too late in the year, and didn't stay in a place where they were made welcome and treated with care and understanding. I don't understand that mentality. What's the big rush?

By the way, guess who wrote the book I read? Irving Stone. Remember him? "Lust For Life," "The Agony and the Ecstasy?" I never imagined that he wrote a history book, but he did.


frederick franz 3 years ago

So! Perhaps I should wait until Spring to cross the mountains :-) If my house sells soon, I will be on my way ASAP. I need to get info on movers. I had bad luck with the move I made from my house in La Paz county. The mover delivered a day late. They also lost an item of clothing. Does a move ever go smoothly?


Bernice Winandy 3 years ago

Tom, your advice to Pine regarding Blue Ridge might be well founded. However, have you noticed the size of the debt PSWID has taken on with the purchase of the water companies, the purchase of two deep wells, the drilling of two more deep wells and the cost of dealing with the sand problems. I fear PSWID water users might be in for another rate increase.

Fred, we have had good luck moving cross country three times. Nothing lost, nothing broken. I think we used Allied (it was some time ago). I have been told that those big rigs are actually owned by the drivers and that they simply have "an arrangement" with the company. I don't really know -- just been told.


Tom Garrett 3 years ago

Right, Fred, Allied was good back when I was in the Air Force. It was almost always Allied that did the moves for Lolly and me. We moved seven times, as much as 10,000 miles. Of course, a lot of that was by sea, after the can line had delivered out stuff to the port.

We only had trouble twice. Once was when we moved from England to the States when I was retired. The people working on the trucks in England were a pack of thieves. We'd been having trouble every time someone moved. If I had not been watching they would have stolen everything in sight. I forced them to nail the crates shut before the truck left, band it with steel bands, and wait until the base transportation office came and placed their seals on everything. They didn't get anything big, but even so the bunch of %$#@! thieves swiped small things they could tuck into a pocket.

That, by the way, is what you get in a Socialist country.

The other time we had trouble was when we moved from California to Utah. When our stuff started coming off the truck I saw red dust stains on some things. I stopped the off loading right there and then and called Base Transportation. The inspectors came over and checked everything. A lot of stuff had to go through a special cleaning process. The movers were very unhappy about it, but they had no choice. I later found that the warehouse they were storing things in while they awaited the arrival of the owners, which was supposed to be a spotlessly clean, air conditioned warehouse. Instead, it was a dirty old building full of building materials, including some kind of red lead or something. the company lost the contract.

What I have found since I left the Air Force is that when you deal with a company as a private individual you have too little clout. They know they are going to probably only see you once; no return business. After one move I went to using a U-Haul almost all the time. As old as I am, if I had to move again that's what I would do.

Anyway, I wish you luck.


Bernice Winandy 3 years ago

Your point about getting different treatment as a private individual is well taken.

I think you could probably hire help with the loading and unloading of the U-Haul. Of course you would have to make sure everything is properly padded and tied down. Also, you are faced with driving the rig all the way. When we drive to Oregon we usually take 3 days. In a U-Haul, I would consider taking longer. The worst part of the trip is getting around L.A. The drivers are crazy. My husband came up with an alternate route which keeps us out of most of the L.A. madness.


Bernice Winandy 3 years ago

Also, Sysiyousko (spelling{ can be very difficult if you run into snow.

We had a very amusing (now) experience with this pass. Road signs (those lit up ones) were warning us that we would need chains in order to get through the pass. So we bought some (at a very steep price). Of course we did not need them and we are now driving around Arizona with unused chains in our trunk. A u-turn was also involved in this episode, but I won't bore you with the details.


frederick franz 3 years ago

These reports, Bernice, Tom, alert me to the problems I may have....thanks. Tom, your recommendation of Allied is a huge help for me. I have used U-Haul for other short moves and was quite satisfied. The packing is where I'm limited now. This old broken body cannot handle large appliances. Driving the U-Haul would be a challenge since I would need something fairly large.

That reminds me of this anecdote: While in the Army we were unloading our radio equipment from the ships in Saigon harbor. I got assigned to drive a large truck through Saigon. I'd never tried to drive a vehicle larger than a pickup truck. I sat down in this truck and looked at the 2 shifter sticks which were unlabeled. I asked my buddies if any of them knew how to shift the gears. No one did. So, I set about to experiment with the gears. The truck would stall and refuse to move. Eventually I shifted it to a gear which moved the truck. I left it in that gear and drove all the way to Tan Shun Nhut base that way. What fun! All the way in low gear!


Tom Garrett 3 years ago

When Lolly and I moved to Arizona we hired two of the largest U-Haul trucks. I had two sons (and me) to load them, and some friends from the high school--other teachers--came over to help. We loaded up and took off. I drove the lead U-Haul, David drove the second U-Haul--with the Torino on a trailer on its back. Francis drove the brand new Mustang, with Lolly and our three cats. It took us three days, but we arrived in the middle of the afternoon of the third day. It was June 21st; the temperature was a record 121 that day. At this end we had my brother in law and his son to help unload. They had already found us a rental, so we just drove up and unloaded. When I found a permanent house we used a local mover in Phoenix; they were lousy. When I moved to Mesa I used a different local mover in Phoenix; they were worse than the first one.

If the only way I could get to Oregon was through Los Angeles I wouldn't go. Why not take the northern route? Go north and then west? Even when I was stationed in California and drove across the country to get there I went nowhere near southern CA.

One problem is the time of year, Fred. If there were any way you could delay until next summer it would be a wise thing to do. If selling the house gets you into the winter months you'll be driving at a bad time of year. All them %$#@! mountains.

I like your truck story, Fred. I actually learned to drive in a six by six. Up in Iceland. Three of us were assigned to guard a warehouse full of radar equipment on a new site that was being built--18 miles from anywhere, which in Iceland is the equivalent of a hundred miles. We lived in the warehouse and ate C-rations. Every four or five days the other two guys would jump in our truck and make the trek to the base for food. We had no source of communication at all. I would stay there alone until they got back, sometimes as long as 18 to 20 hours. (That's a funny story too.)

I got tired of always being the guy left out there alone, so i decided to learn how to drive. I had one of the guys show me how to run the %$#@! truck and then practiced until I had it down pat. Got to drive in just once, but when I got back to Ct I got my driver's license. The cop who gave me my driving test said I was a remarkably good driver because just as I started up the grammar school across the street let out and I had to navigate my way through a cloud of kids. He just had me drive around the block and back to the station. He said if I could get through that mob of kids he wasn't worried about me being able to do anything else. Hell, I was driving a nice, easy to drive 1935 Chevy with mechanical brakes and a stick shift; what was there to be hard? :-)


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