Oregon tops Bankrate's list as the cheapest place in the country to own and operate a vehicle. Drivers here pay $2,204 to own and operate a car each year. That may be a surprise in a place where gas prices have frequently jumped above $4 per gallon.Don't tell California residents that it's a lot cheaper to live in Oregon; too many of their retirees are moving here, already (and have been doing so for decades).
The Beaver State gives drivers a break with no state sales tax. Kelley Blue Book estimates the combined vehicle fees in the state amount to just $157 per year. That's the lowest in the country.
Oregon motorists also drive less than in most other states. That drives down what they spend on gasoline each year. The average yearly cost of gasoline in Oregon was $942 per driver in 2012, while it was $1,020 nationally.
Insurance premiums are also relatively low at $724 per year.
The whole thing about 'no state sales tax' is a continuing issue in Oregon. State lawmakers have been trying to initiate a State Sales Tax in Oregon for fifty years .. on a nearly bi-annual basis. They present bills, it comes up for a vote (mandated by the state constitution), and their constituents keep voting it down. And voting against the sponsors of the bills, as often as not, the next time they come up for re-election.
Another issue; when I lived in Washington State, and in California State, when we renewed our vehicle license the cost was based on the value of the car. It had nothing to do with the usage, only with car value. Apparently, most states figure if you can afford a decent car, you can afford to let the state milk you for the privilege. Actually, even when I drove junkers in those states, the licensing fees were higher than that for a luxury car in Oregon. We're talking double-digits for biannual licensing fees in Oregon, and everybody pays the same.
There are other benefits to living in Oregon. New Jersey and Oregon have two things in common; no state sales tax, and service stations cannot require you to pump your own gas. No other states in the union combine these benefits.
There's a joke about New Jersey:
"California has the highest ration of attorneys per capita than any other state. New Jersey has the highest ration of toxic waste dumps. Why is that? Answer: New Jersey got first choice!"
Where I live, I can drive to the coast to surf in two hours or to a mountain to ski in three hours. In five hours I can be in a dessert. (Not that I do any of these things .. I stay close to home, as do most Oregonians, which is why our annual mileage is so low, Everything's perfect just where we are, except for the lousy Liberal politics .. so where would we want to go?)
Just something you should know. Visit Oregon. Spend lots of money. Then, go home!