Oregon desperately needs new housing.
Government created this problem so more government seems unlikely to fix it.
Two things made it happen.
For more than 50 years, the government artificially and unnecessarily locked up land with Senate Bill 100 and Urban Growth Boundaries. In other words, Oregon did to land what OPEC did to oil: Create a shortage and drive the price through the roof.
And why? After more than 150 years of statehood, humans now occupy less than 4 percent of all the land in the state. You’d think we could free up a bit more to cut the cost of housing.
Second, greedy local governments jacked up so-called “system development” fees. So, before you even turn a shovelful of dirt or pound in a nail…you pay government tens of thousands of dollars.
You’re paying for sewer and water and roads and schools that literally don’t exist.
Now, the legislature wants to address the housing shortage by raising a new state property tax.
Now Governor Kotek claims half a billion dollars in state subsidies will cut the cost.
Both are foolish.
Let’s suspend Urban Growth boundaries. Slash or suspend system development charges.
Make it as easy to get a permit to build a house as it is for Oregon Democrats to take illegal campaign contributions.