DHM Panel May Survey Results
June 11, 2019
In October 2015, the City of Portland declared a state of emergency on housing and homelessness, the first of an ongoing set of policy responses across the state to address concerns with housing affordability. Earlier this year, Oregon became the first state to enact caps on rent increases and legislators are now considering other measures to address the affordable housing crisis in Oregon. For DHM’s May survey, we checked in with Oregonians to find out whether or not they feel the impact of the housing crisis, and if they support or oppose some of the proposed solutions.
These findings come from the May 2019 fielding of our DHM Panel. The survey was conducted from May 16 to 23, 2019, and surveyed 624 Oregonians. The results were weighted by age, gender, area of the state, political party, and level of education to ensure a representative sample of Oregon residents. The margin of error for this survey is ±3.9%.
Perceptions of the Oregon housing crisis have not changed since 2016.
Similar to results from past years, 84% of Oregonians agree that the state is experiencing a housing crisis. This opinion is shared by most demographic groups, though those from the Willamette Valley are less likely to hold this opinion (68%) than their counterparts (91%). Residents of the Willamette Valley area (76%) are also more likely than those in other areas of the state (53%-67%) to consider their housing “affordable,” meaning housing costs account for no more than 30% of their household’s income.
While a majority of Oregonians continue to find their own housing situation affordable, clear differences exist between renters and homeowners.
The percentage of Oregonians who consider their housing situation affordable has also remained consistent since 2016. In each year, about six in ten Oregonians (63% in 2019) have reported that their housing costs, including basic utilities, account for no more that 30% of their household’s income.
Though the majority of panelists find their current housing situation to be affordable, the data suggests that clear disparities exist between renters and homeowners. 72% of homeowners say their housing is affordable, compared to only 43% of renters. Renters are also significantly less likely than homeowners to be able to afford an emergency costing $1,000. One-half of renters would not be able to afford this expense, compared to 17% of homeowners.
For all these differences in access and affordability, renters do have something in common with homeowners: a desire to one day live on their own property. Almost all renters say they currently rent as a matter of circumstance rather than as a choice, and three in four would like to own a home someday.
While most support proposed zoning laws to incorporate middle housing in Oregon’s residential areas, Oregonians see pros and cons.
Though a comprehensive rent control bill passed in February, political leaders in the state have continued to pursue other policy options to address the affordability crisis. The Oregon State Legislature is now considering a bill that would require the Portland metropolitan area and other cities with populations greater than 25,000 to allow middle housing in any area that is zoned for residential use. Middle housing includes duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, townhouses, and cottage clusters. 64% of Oregonians support this proposal, with Republicans as the only demographic group without majority support (36%).
Oregonians express the strongest agreement with claims about middle housing’s ability to provide housing options for all income levels and to meet growing population demands. On the con side, about six in ten agree that middle housing will negatively impact livability, or that the issue should be dealt with on a more local scale. Oregonians least agree with the claim that an increased housing supply will only encourage more people to move to Oregon.
Taken together, these results suggest that while Oregonians do not see middle housing as a silver bullet, they support the legislature continuing to take steps to address the housing crisis.DOWNLOAD: DHM Panel Blog Post June 2019 Housing
DHM Panel April 2019 Survey Results
May 15, 2019
Shortly after Tax Day, we touched base with Oregonians about their experiences with and perceptions of taxes in 2019. It turns out online filing and the possibility of the IRS developing their own free digital filing system are popular in the state. Oregonian’s views are less rosy when it comes to the fairness of the federal tax system. Read on for more!
These findings come from the April 2019 fielding of our DHM Panel. The survey was conducted from April 18–26, 2019, and surveyed 596 Oregonians. The results were weighted by age, gender, area of the state, political party, and level of education to ensure a representative sample of Oregonians. The margin of error for this survey is ±4.0%.
Online tax filing was the most popular method for Oregonians, and 7 in 10 oppose proposed legislation to prevent the IRS from creating a free online tax filing system.
By the time we fielded our survey, 88% of Oregonians had filed their 2018 taxes. About one half (54%) of those individuals did so using an online platform. Online tax filing was the most popular method used in for 2018 taxes across all demographic groups, with the exception of individuals over the age of 65, who tended to use an accountant or other professional to file.
While companies who provide online tax filing services are currently required to provide free filing services to those who make less than $66,000 annually, many taxpayers are either ineligible for free filing or end up paying these services regardless of eligibility. The US Congress is currently considering a law called the Taxpayer First Act, which, among other administrative changes, would permanently ban the IRS from developing a free electronic tax filing system. We asked Oregonians to share their opinions of this proposed legislation and found that a majority were in opposition (71%), with 53% strongly opposed.
Though clear differences in opinion exist by political party—Democrats (79%) are more likely to oppose than Republicans (58%)—the majority of individuals in each major party are opposed to this provision. Opinions also tend to differ by income, with frequency of opposition increasing as income increases. In short, those who would remain ineligible for free filing are more likely to oppose this provision.
Oregonians think the federal tax system is less fair than Americans do. Opinions on the topic are strongly correlated to political affiliation.
Compared to results from a national Pew Research Center study in March 2019, Oregonians are more likely to believe the federal tax system is not at all fair, while Americans are much more likely to say the system is moderately fair. In both cases, notably few characterize current federal taxes as very fair.
Among Oregonians, Democrats tend to be the most skeptical and Republicans the least. That said, only 35% of Republicans categorize federal taxes as fair—the highest rating of any demographic group.
In general, Oregonians agree with Americans when it comes to their perceptions of the amount of federal taxes that certain groups pay. Both groups generally think that lower-income and middle-income people pay too much, while upper-income Americans and large businesses or corporations pay too little.
There are notable differences in these perceptions by political affiliation. Republicans are more likely than other Oregonians to view the tax system as stacked against small businesses and their households, and in favor of lower-income Americans. Democrats and Oregonians who are non-affiliated or members of minor parties more often say that lower-income Americans pay too much and indicate an appetite for increased taxes on larger businesses and upper-income people. Oregonians of all stripes—partisan and otherwise—do agree that middle-income Americans currently pay too much.DOWNLOAD: Taxes Survey Findings
Oregon’s legislative session is heating up. Already, major legislation has passed or is making its way toward the governor’s desk. Some significant bills that have passed address rent stabilization and zoning for multifamily housing. The legislature is continuing to debate the creation of a “cap and invest” program to reduce climate emissions. And last week, the House passed a bill that would raise $2 billion for K–12 public education.DOWNLOAD: Unfinished Business: Oregonians Look to the Legislature to Address PERS