Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Despite tax hike, Bend ranks high for business, careers

No less than Forbes magazine, no lover of taxes or government in general, ranks Bend, Oregon, No. 7 in the nation for Best Small Places for Business and Careers.

Bend is the highest-rated city on the West Coast, in this survey, and that's in spite of the voter-approved tax hike on the rich last January.

The pundits, who hate voters when they don't vote how they want them to vote, all whined that Oregon would now fall into the ocean because of this cataclysmic vote.

You remember that song, and I change the lyrics slightly here:

"Where can we go
When there's no Shaniko?
Sshh. Better get ready
To tie up the boats in Idaho."

Yeah, right.

There has been no stories of companies leaving Oregon because of the tax increase.

In fact, there have been plenty of stories of companies moving to, or expanding in, Oregon.

Now, Forbes deems Bend a hot spot for business and career growth.

Of course, all is not so rosy here. Unemployment is nearly 15 percent and foreclosures still reach record levels month after month.

What Forbes might be saying is that Bend is close to rock bottom and things should be looking up from here on out.

That remains to be seen. Expect more defaults, more foreclosures and no decrease in the jobless rate until the middle of next year.

The bottom line is this, though: The tax hike on the rich that voters approved has no detrimental effect on Oregon's economy. In fact, the opposite can be argued.

Our neighbors to the north should take notice since Washington voters will decide in November if the rich in the Evergreen State should pay any state income tax at all in a state that has no income tax.

Go for it, Washington.

You'll be better off if you do.

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