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Economic Outlook Draws Mixed Reactions
Booming state revenues, but inflation and continued supply chain problems

The Oregon Economic Forecast for March has a mixed bag of prognostications. According to the Office of Economic Analysis which produces the forecast, "As the inflationary boom persists, all of Oregon’s primary state revenue instruments continue to outperform pre-pandemic expectations. With the consensus of economic forecasters now expecting that there is more to come, the revenue outlook has been revised upward." The state has over $900 million in extra revenue.

On the other hand, it predicts challenges for the economy. "The biggest economic challenge remains the supply side of the economy. Supply chains are not broken but are overloaded due to strong consumer demand. Given that labor runs through everything, it is the single biggest constraint on the economy today. Labor supply is increasing. Oregon added a record number of jobs last year."

“More money for the state is not the same thing as good news for Oregonians,” said Oregon House Republican Leader Vikki Breese-Iverson (R-Prineville). “People are struggling to make ends meet while the state is swimming in tax revenue. Years of Democrats’ failed leadership have resulted in tax and fee increases. This has brought the state more money than ever at a time when inflation is hurting individuals, families and small businesses by raising prices and diluting salaries. Now should be the time to eliminate financial burdens. Instead, Democrats have floated ideas like a new sales tax. Oregonians deserve better.”

The National Federation of Independent Businesses’ Small Business Optimism Index recently reported that the number of small business owners raising average selling prices increased by the highest amount since the fourth quarter of 1974.

Oregon House Speaker Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis) said that “After two incredibly difficult years, today’s news means we can make critical investments in our schools, working families, and small business. “We need to seize this opportunity to invest in our schools, particularly given the burnout many frontline workers in education are feeling.

Speaker Rayfield continued, “We need to support working families and small businesses by investing in skills training and helping people start and expand small businesses. “We need to do whatever we can to bring down the cost of living for hardworking Oregonians, particularly individuals and families in need of affordable housing. That means making smart investments to help Oregonians cover everyday necessities like rent, mortgage payments, prescriptions and childcare.”

“Crime is on the rise,” said Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp (R-Bend). “The Governor continues to double down on letting criminals out of prison, while several bills are working through the legislature that will make our communities more dangerous. We must invest in public safety.

Governor Kate Brown took to the defensive on crime. “As we work to help Oregon families succeed, with these additional resources at the midpoint of session, we also have an opportunity to ensure that every Oregonian feels safe in their community. I will continue to work with legislators to address community safety, and I encourage members of both parties to bring forward their ideas for evidence-based community violence prevention and intervention. When we invest in and create opportunities for Oregonians and their families, we create safer, healthier communities.”

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

With the excess revenue, Republicans will also pursue a $50 million appropriation to fund forest thinning operations around the state. “Decades of forest mismanagement has left our forests overstocked ready to explode with a single spark,” Senator Knopp continued. “We must act in a bold way to ensure Oregonians are protected from devastating wildfire.”

“We must also be responsible with this money. We need to reserve more funds for the next downturn. We also need to look seriously at giving Oregonians a tax break. The government has buckets of money, but inflation is pinching the pockets of working Oregonians. As Democrats introduce bills to increase taxes, Republicans are looking at ways to cut them,” said Senator Knopp.

“Wow... That is a lot of money. We can build big projects across the state. We can get the homeless off the street. We can do year-round schools. And we can better recruit, train and evaluate police. Much work to do in a very short period,” said Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem).

Senate Majority Leader Rob Wagner (D-Lake Oswego) said, “Today’s forecast is a green light for immediate investments to help kids succeed in school, get people into housing and make sure working families and small businesses are benefitting from our recovery. We must make sure that every community in Oregon shares these strong economic gains.”


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-02-09 14:13:42Last Update: 2022-02-09 14:39:32



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