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 Senate Republican Office
Oregon State Capitol
900 Court Street NE, S-223
Salem, Oregon 97301
July 13, 2005 (503) 986-1950
Senate Provides Relief to Oregon Farmers
“This gives Oregon farmers some breathing room”
SALEM – Oregon farmers struggling to compete under high labor costs got a little help from the
Senate Wednesday. Senate Bill 1083 gives them tax relief to offset the annual increases in the state’s
minimum wage.
“Somehow we need to give Oregon farmers the tools to survive,” stated Senator Roger Beyer (R-
Molalla). “They will become less and less competitive without this small step.”
Oregon has an estimated 10,000 agricultural workers who currently earn the state’s minimum wage of
$7.25 per hour. By 2009 the wage is expected to top $7.85. The tax credit will cover 50% of the
2006 increase and 100% of each subsequent rise in the minimum wage. Annual increases in Oregon’s
minimum wage are tied to Portland’s consumer price index. Proponents argue this unfairly ties rural
farmers to prices in Portland not the cost of living in rural communities.
The state’s 40,000 farms contribute more than $8 billion to Oregon’s economy. Farmers send 90% of
their crops out of state and about half of those are exported internationally.
“This gives Oregon farmers some breathing room,” stated Senator Gary George (R-Newberg) a
hazelnut farmer. “We must ensure our farmers can compete both nationally and internationally.”
Senate Bill 1083 passed the Senate Wednesday and now heads to the House for its consideration.



Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM  Pacific

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