The entire Pacific coast is vying to become the next rust belt. Only the nice climate and beautiful scenery will keep anyone there.
The Labor Department reported yesterday that Oregon's unemployment rate soared to 12.4% in May, the nation's second highest after Michigan's 14.1%. What to do? If you're the geniuses in the state legislature in Salem, you naturally raise taxes.
Last week the legislature approved a $2 billion tax hike on personal income and small businesses that haven't already left the state. The highest tax rate on income above $500,000 would climb to 11% -- up from an already high 9%. Oregon will soon boast the second highest income tax rate in the nation, moving ahead of California (10.55%), and only slightly behind New York City (12.6%). Corporations will pay a 7.9% tax on gross receipts, up from 6.6%.
To be fair, Oregon does not really have a sales tax, so it is hard to compare apples and oranges on taxes. But missing from the article is another factor in their unemployment, and the reason our company ultimately had to leave the state: Oregon has the second highest minimum wage in the country (just behind Washington State and just ahead of California), and it is getting higher every year as it is automatically indexed to something or other that seems to be rising faster than inflation.