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Oregon Businesses Grapple with Rising Costs: A Deeper Look

Written by Zev Glass on Sep. 20th, 2023
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Oregon’s flourishing landscapes and bustling cities have always been a testament to its growth and potential. Yet, recent findings have given businesses and families cause for concern. As of this spring, the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center has ranked Oregon as the state with the 8th highest cost of living in the United States.

While states like Alaska and Hawaii naturally endure elevated costs due to their geographical challenges in transporting goods, Oregon’s high standing seems rooted in different soil. Excluding these two states, Oregon actually ranks 6th, emphasizing a pressing issue that cannot be overlooked.

The factors contributing to this rank can be traced back to significant policy decisions made over the past few years. 2019 saw the passage of the state’s largest-ever tax, the CAT Tax. Additionally, Oregon’s labor costs, driven by factors such as a rising minimum wage, paid leave taxes, and other regulations, rank among the nation’s highest.

These economic policies, while crafted with certain intentions in mind, have inadvertently placed a heavy burden on the shoulders of Oregon’s residents and businesses. The cumulative effect of high taxes and extensive regulatory measures is palpable, affecting the daily lives and operations of Oregonians.

There’s no denying that addressing economic disparities and ensuring workers’ rights are commendable goals. However, the current trajectory suggests a need for balance. Striking the right equilibrium between policy and practicality will be essential if Oregon wishes to ensure a thriving, inclusive, and sustainable economic future for all its residents.

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