Posted 08-10-2003 at 21:39:12
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I only live a few miles from the state line in Washington, SE of Spokane, but my brother has been an Idaho residant for about 30 years and is a retired state employee. Lots of Idaho is mountainous and much is owned by the state or the federal government. Much of Southern Idaho is near-desert. In general, Idaho is a fairly poor state. There are good jobs in the Boise area, but the computer industry has taken big hits lately, so that job market is not nearly as good as it was a few years ago. I hope the economy is getting better, but my neice and her husband recently had to move to Arizona for him to keep a good job in the computer industry.
Southeastern Idaho is heavily Mormon, and I have talked to people that were not Mormon who said that this was a real disadvantage to them trying to live in that area. A friend of mine was a cop in Pocatello for years and finally quit after not getting any kind of a raise for 5 years. He was having trouble earning enough money to take care of his family and moved to the Seattle area and into a completely different line of work because it paid so much better.
Idaho has wonderful scenery--all sorts of things. There are wonderful ski areas and the hunting is great. It might be a good place to retire to, if you have a good pension from somewhere else. Lots of retired California cops have come to North Idaho. Some have continued in that kind of work for local departments (several as cheifs), but most just retire and do whatever they feel like.
Idaho has a state income tax and also a sales tax. In the areas I know about, the property taxes are fairly reasonable. Idahoans are much less taxed overall than Washingtonians. The overall cost of living is relatively low. Again in the country areas I know about, people have the general attitude of live and let live and you leave me alone and I won't bother you. Politically, I believe that Idaho is one of the most conservative states. Roads and public infrastructure are not as developed as in many other states. Many of the schools are very unfunded and have been considered to be of poor quality.
Just like anywhere else, I would suggest that you spend some time in the area that you are considering before mading a permanant move. Check out the employment opportunities and other things that are important to you. Don't come and expect to find a highly paid job right away unless you have specialized job skills that are in demand where you go.
Don't get me wrong. I love Idaho and lots of the people there. I have considered moving to Idaho, but have too many roots here and will probably live where I live until I die. Good luck!