Are Oregonians staging an "exodus" to Clark County to avoid paying the new taxes levied under last year's Measure 66 and 67?

That's what KGW says, in a report apparently based entirely on a blog post by an Oregon anti-tax group.

The sponsors of last year's measures, Our Oregon, ripped into KGW's reporting, calling the story "astonishingly bad, one-sided, and inaccurate." Their biggest beef? That KGW never bothered to call them, any of the legislators who sponsored the tax measures, or any other progressive group they know of that could have provided a counter-point. "It's one of two things—it's either lazy reporting or it's ideologically driven," says Our Oregon's Scott Moore. "The effect is the same. They put out a one-sided inaccurate story that just isn't true. "

KGW has changed the story, switching the headline from "More Oregonians Moving to WA for Tax Relief" to the much less certain, "Activist says Oregonians moving to WA for tax relief." Here's a screenshot of the original story that Moore took.

In addition to being one-sided, KGW's story is flat-out unsupported. The crux of the issue is that the number of Oregon drivers' licenses being traded in for Clark County drivers' licenses increased last summer, to about 3,000 more trade-ins than usual. KGW and the anti-tax crowd jumped to the conclusion that Oregonians are moving to Washington exclusively because of the tax difference. From the original piece:

How do you spell relief—tax relief? More and more people from Oregon are spelling it N-O-R-T-H, as in moving north to Washington. With no income tax and lower home prices, the Evergreen State is becoming a haven for Oregonians, rather than pay some of the highest taxes in the country.

That's been changed to:

The Evergreen State, which has no income tax and lower home prices, is becoming a haven for Oregonians, according to a tax activist who says it's because of taxes.

Also, says Moore, the jump in licenses being traded in might not even mean more Oregonians are moving to Washington than usual.In July 2010, the Washington State Patrol reinstated its License Investigation Unit and started cracking down on Washington residents who don't trade in their licenses so that they can avoid paying Washington taxes. So the uptick in trade-ins could likely be from the troopers' crackdown... not an "exodus" of Oregonians.

For what it's worth, I emailed the reporter on the KGW story, Joe Smith, to get his side of the story. No response so far.