Portland’s Home County Sees Tax Base Shrink After Residents Leave

The county home to Portland, Oregon received bad news from recent tax figures, which found that the city’s collective income shrunk by about $1 billion due to out-migration from residents over the last three years. The news for the Oregon city reflects a wider trend of significant departures from a number of other prominent cities dominated by the Democratic Party.

Multnomah County, home to Portland, lost more than 14,000 net residents between 2021 and 2021, according to IRS data. An analysis conducted by local media found that a majority of those who left earned higher incomes.

The data found that many of those who left the area headed for suburban areas outside of Multnomah County. A significant portion of residents left for states such as Texas and South Carolina.

Portland has seen a significant increase in crime since the start of the pandemic and the George Floyd riots.

The City of Roses saw the number of shootings quadruple between 2019 and 2022. Homicide rates followed a similar trajectory. In 2022, the number of robberies in the city doubled. The city has also seen a significant increase in the number of car thefts.

As Portland struggles with the effects of violent crime, it also has one of the worst homelessness crises in the nation. The city is estimated to have more than 700 tent encampments. The city has seen an increase in homelessness by 50% between 2019 and 2022.

The city’s government called for measures to defund its own police department. Following a year of sharply increasing crime, Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) called for a large increase in the city’s police funding in late 2021.

Portland also faces police staffing shortages. Portland offered a $25,000 signing bonus for new officers and pushed for rehiring more than two dozen retired officers. 

The mayor said that many residents of Portland “no longer feel safe in their city.” 

“Business owners have closed up shop, for fear of doing business in high-risk areas. Commuters fear for their safety, whether taking public transport or going by foot,” he said. “Parents are scared to let their children play outside.”