Population: 5.9 million.
Population Density: 86.6 per square mile (Far less in the eastern half of the state!) Very high population density (by western U.S. standards.) (Rank 3 of JWR’s top 19 states).
Area: 68,100 square miles (rank 20 of 50).
Average car insurance cost: $803/yr. (rank 19 of 50).
Average home insurance cost: $428/yr. (rank 31 of 50).
Crime Safety Ranking: 30 of 50.
Boston T. Party’s State Firearms Laws Ranking: 57%.
Per capita income: $31,230 (rank 11 of 50).
ACT & SAT Scores Ranking: 10 of 50 (tied with Oregon).
Plusses: Low property taxes in some of the eastern counties. (But rising!)
Whitman county Washington taxes rose 80% from 1988 to 1995. In 2002,
the annual tax bill was $3,047 on a $200,000 home. (Second highest in the state.)
The median home value in 2000 for Washington was $168,300, up 38 percent
since 1990, adjusted for inflation. The average statewide property tax rate in Washington is $13.53 per $1,000 of assessed value.
Minuses: Creeping Californication. Highly regulated home schooling. Fairly high crime rates in the Western counties and in the larger cities in the eastern half of the state—such as Spokane, Yakima, and the Tri-Cities (Richland/Pasco/Kennewick) region. A draconian business gross receipts tax of 1.5%-to-3%. Marginal gun laws. Very high sales tax. (8.8%)
Parts of the state are recommended. (See my detailed retreat locale recommendations posted starting September 24, 2005.)
Note: I probably should have given Washington a lower ranking, due to its mediocre tax and gun laws. However, like Oregon, its favorable climate and growing season pushed it up the list.
JWR’s Combined Retreat Potential Ranking: 4 of 19.
A Reader in Washington Adds:
Just a few nits to pick (grin), RE: “A draconian business gross receipts tax of 2-to-3%. Marginal gun laws. Very high sales tax. (8.8%)”
Can’t disagree with draconian. Can disagree with the B&O rates, slightly. They depend completely on the type of business. My business is taxed at 1.5%.
Sales taxes vary per county over a very wide range.
Gas tax is $0.28 per gallon.
Just for fun, check out this link for “major” taxes in the Evergreen state. Yikes.
There are also more than a few badges (not obvious, but there nonetheless if you know what to look for) at our local gun shows at the County fairgrounds. Keeping an eye on who, what, and how much. Not particularly comfortable about that one. Best Regards, and keep up the good work. – T.S.