Guest Column

Bend has long been home to some of our nation’s best breweries, but more and more distillers are also making it their home. There are now more than 70 distilleries across the state, all of which contribute to Oregon’s economy, adding jobs, revenue and economic diversity. But if the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC) approves Gov. Tina Kotek’s proposed 50-cent tax increase on alcohol, it will be a massive hit to local businesses already facing withering competition from better funded national brands.

As Bend residents likely know, more than half our state’s jobs are in leisure and hospitality. That’s far more than most other states because beer, wine, cider and spirits are an essential part of Oregon’s economy and identity. Oregon distillers help create 19,000 of these jobs and generate $2 billion in economic output for the state.

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Alan Dietrich is CEO of Crater Lake Spirits.

(3) comments

Janus81

Oregon is indeed number one in untreated addiction to drugs like meth and heroin, and now fenatnyl, but the author is wrong about prescription drugs. Misuse of Rx opiods is down dramatically in Orehon (and nationwide) since 2011 - over 75% reductions.

The problem is that some charts do not distinuish between "synthetics" - like fentanyl and "semi-synthetics" like oxycodone. In any event, Oregon's biggest problem is not diversion of legal drus, but manufacture and sale of srugs that were never legal (meth and heroin).

TRANSFORM

Alan is very much on target here. the problem, beside the obvious addictions, is lack of effective and accountable leadership and management of resources as he stated.

TRANSFORM

oh, and then there's this from today's NYT's...."Oregon Liquor Officials Are Accused of Hoarding Rare Bourbon

An investigation found that six officials with the state’s liquor commission had diverted bottles of high-end alcohol for themselves, including Pappy Van Winkle bourbon."

the gov did do the right thing in getting these crooks gone, but more of this kind of action on her part across this corrupt government will more than likely negate any need to increase the CAT or the liquor taxes.

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