Oregonian tears into rent control bill

By Taxpayers Association of Oregon


The Oregonian Editorial Board stated in strong terms a second rent control bill to add on the first one;

“If only some of her fellow Democrats would stop digging. Instead, 11 Democratic legislators are sponsoring Senate Bill 611, which would lower Oregon’s cap on rent increases to a maximum of 8% and dramatically narrow an exemption for newly constructed buildings. As currently written, the bill, which is scheduled for a work session Monday in front of the Senate Committee on Housing and Development, would also require landlords to pay three months of rent to tenants who are forced to vacate their units due to no fault of their own.While some legislators are proposing amendments to raise the cap and drop the other provisions, the bill in any form is the perfect recipe for how to worsen Oregon’s housing crisis. Rather than present Oregon as a stable place to finance new housing, this bill sends the message to investors, builders and landlords that what they may earn is up to politicians who may change the rules at any time. Why would they choose Oregon as a place to do business when the state – already a morass of land-use restrictions, permitting delays and special fees – misunderstands the economics and so clearly disdains the role they play? To be sure, Oregon opened this can of worms in 2019 when the Legislature decided to impose a statewide cap on rent increases in the first place. “

This Oregonian criticism of SB 611 is spot on 100%.


The Taxpayers Association of Oregon previously reported on SB 611:


“Oregon and Portland passed one of the nation’s toughest and most bureaucratic rent control laws.

Here is what happened.

• Some places in Oregon saw rent prices increase double digits others increased 46%.

• Rental properties went down 14% as landlords left the Portland market.

Because rent control failed, the lawmakers are back for more.

Senate Bill 611 is up for a hearing.  SB 611 caps annual rent increases at  3% plus inflation or a flat 8% — whichever number is lower.  SB 611 also increases the amount landlords owe tenants in cases where the renter is evicted due to landlord-initiated circumstances such as demolishing, remodeling or selling the property itself.

When inflation spikes (like the recent 8%) and taxes go up (Oregon among the highest taxed states), property owners can lose the ability to stay afloat.  Furthermore, when politicians pass more rules and red tape on landlords,many are forced to go to rental agencies to help them navigate the bureaucracy.  This adds to the cost of renting and is reflected in the cost.   This is why Portland prices went up.   This is also why some landlords leave the business entirely, which reduces supply, which in turn increases the price.

If only politicians knew that they are making everything worse — higher rents, less profitable small businesses, fewer choices, more bureaucracy, more distance between landlord and tenants, etc.”


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