By Taxpayers Association of Oregon
Willamette Week notes, “For the fourth year in a row, the Holiday Ale Festival—a tradition that for years drew beer fans to downtown Portland from across the metro area and the country—has been canceled…A post on social media added a little more context about the current collective mood toward the city’s core: “If people are hesitant to visit downtown and park or walk after dark to attend the event, that makes it tough to invest the time and funds and hope it turns out for the best.”
This is a bad time for festivals.
We previously reported on other festival closures:
Oregon Symphony Waterfront festival.The Oregon Symphony Waterfront festival, known as the state’s “largest free community concert,” has called it quits. The symphony cited a “payroll administration fees” and “a hoard of additional fees that are just crippling” as one reason. Portland and Metro have increased payroll taxes making it one of the highest income tax places in America. Portland and Metro have jacked up property taxes which raise rental costs (another issue cited by Oregon Symphony).
Oregon Brewer’s Festival. The Oregon Brewer’s Festival has closed. It was among the longest running brew events in the nation. They cite “increasing cost to field the event” and “hospitality industry, which is at the core of our festival, is still working to recover from the effects of the pandemic”. Costs are souring to do a big Portland public event because of rising security costs resulting from Portland’s crime wave and defunding police. Politicians have increased alcohol license fees, business taxes, property taxes, payroll taxes, gas taxes and many other taxes. Also, Portland’s airport travel and convention business is below the national average since the recovery. Furthermore, as the Festival cites a poor hospitality industry in Portland is also a direct result of the industry being locked down longer than most states and then hit with new taxes that didn’t exist before the pandemic.
Feast closes: Portland’s largest food fest has closed. They cite, ““It was hard to try to get out there and work with an industry that just felt so wounded” as the reason. Again, Oregon’s restaurant scene was “wounded” more than most places in America because Oregon kept itself locked down longer and more stricter than most places in America. Oregon was among the last four states to drop their Covid rules on businesses in America — a full year behind other states.
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