Friday, May 20, 2022
News & Notes
Economy expanding according to latest quarterly state forecast
   State Economists Mark McMullen and Josh Lehner provided Oregon's Quarterly Economic and Revenue Forecast this week to lawmakers.
   The report shows the economy is still humming and no longer recovering, but in an expansion mode.
   Since last year, Oregon's tax collections are up more than $1.2 billion, which is 70% more than comparable states, and this will trip the state's unique kicker credit again.
   The kicker is expected to equate to $3 billion for the 2023 tax year.
   McMullen said capital gains taxes originally were expected to grow by $2 billion, but collections actually grew by at least $7 billion, as people cashed in on investments at the end of 2021.
   Unfortunately, economic pessimism looms due to the high inflation rate.
   Lehner said wages are up 17% since the pandemic began, but when adjusted for inflation, it's more like 5%.
   The good news when it comes to inflation is that it's expected to slow.
   Lehner said oil prices have stabilized, helping to slow the impact on inflation.
   The federal government has raised interest rates, which has cooled demand, but McMullen said they are playing catch up, and the concern is whether they will tighten the reigns too much, causing harm to the economy.
   There is also fear that consumers' pessimistic attitudes could cause a self-fulfilling recession prophecy.
   To read the report, click here.
May primary has some winners declared and some waiting
Star with a check mark_ saying _The vote is in__
   Oregon voters cast their primary ballots this week, and now the Governor's race appears to be set with three female candidates - Christine Drazan, Betsy Johnson, and Tina Kotek.
   For the Metro regional government, the race for President still hasn't been declared, but WEA Board member Juan Carlos Gonzalez has been declared the winner in his race for Metro Council District 4, along with Duncan Hwang for District 6.
   Here in Washington County the Oregonian is declaring the incumbents from the Board of Commissioners as having won their races.
   This includes WEA Board member and Washington County Chair Kathryn Harrington, along with former WEA executive director and now Commissioner Pam Treece and Commissioner Jerry Willey, who also is a former WEA Board member.
  Incumbent Kevin Barton has also been declared the winner as the county's district attorney
   WEA endorsed the Beaverton School District Bond Measure and the Washington County Enhanced Sheriff Patrol District's replacement levy, which both passed.
   To see more election results, turn to WEA member KGW.
Land Use & Housing Committee learns about downtown developments
   WEA's Land Use & Housing Committee met this week with Beaverton's Senior Project Development Manager Tyler Ryerson, Hillsboro's Economic and Community Development Director Dan Dias, and Tigard's Redevelopment Project Manager Sean Farrelly.
   The three shared urban renewal activities in their cities.
   Ryerson shared Beaverton's history with urban renewal, which he said was banned in 1987 and made a comeback with community visioning in 2007.
   The city has provided seed money and grants for predevelopment, tenant improvements, and storefront improvements in its downtown.
   In Hillsboro, Dias shared some of the projects being worked on, including Block 67 (4 acres along Baseline near OHSU's Hillsboro Medical Center), the Hillsboro Police block along 10th Street, and the redevelopment at 2nd and Main, which will feature a variety of eateries with a rooftop deck.
   For Tigard, Farrelly spoke about the city's revitalization areas, which includes both downtown Tigard and the Tigard Triangle.
   He also spoke about Universal Plaza, a community gathering space, which will break ground on a splash pad next Thursday.
   Farrelly also talked about tax increment financing and housing in the two areas.
   To learn more, turn to Tigard's and/or Beaverton's slide deck presentations.
Intel to invest $700 million in Hillsboro mega lab
   Intel unveiled plans this week to invest more than $700 million in a state-of-the art research and development mega lab on its Jones Farm campus in Hillsboro.
   The 200,000-square-foot facility will focus on energy technology for data centers.
   It will address areas such as heating, cooling, and water usage.
   Intel also announced the technology industry's first open intellectual property (open IP) immersion liquid cooling solution and reference design.
   The company reports investing in both the mega lab and liquid cooling solution will help address global environmental issues.
   Hillsboro Economic and Community Development Director Dan Dias said in a statement, "Our community recognizes and appreciates this most recent demonstration of the central role Hillsboro and Oregon play at the heart of Intel’s innovation. This project also exemplifies why Hillsboro, Washington County, the Portland region, and the State of Oregon are the national semiconductor innovation hub and should be a focus of federal consideration for further investment and support to maintain the United States’ and the State of Oregon’s global leadership within this critical industry."
   The facility is expected to be completed in 2023.
Odds & Ends
  • Happy Public Works Week to all of those who keep things flowing in our communities!

  • Beaverton is updating its Vision. To weigh in, visit the city's website.

  • Let's roll! Bike Beaverton is happening on Sunday starting at 1pm at 5th Street and Hall Boulevard at the City Park.

Events coming up
Wed. 5/25 at 7:30 a.m. - The WEA Board of Directors will meet.

Th. 5/26 at 7:30 a.m. - An in-person Breakfast Forum with the Westside Mayors at Embassy Suites (9000 S.W. Washington Square Rd., Tigard, OR 97223). Early registration ends Monday. To register

Mon. 5/30 Memorial Day - WEA laptops will be closed in observation.

Wed. 6/8 at 7:30 a.m. - The Transportation & Government Relations Committees will meet to talk about the Westside Multimodal Improvement Study. All members are welcome.

Fri. 6/10 at 12:00 p.m. - The Fundraising/Golf Committee will meet to talk about the July 25 Westside Golf Scramble at Langdon Farms. There is opportunities to sponsor, donate, and/or volunteer. For more information, contact Teresa Dunham.

Wed. 6/15 at 12:00 p.m. - The Land Use & Housing Committee will meet. All members are welcome.