Mannix and McIntire Doing PGE/Enron’s Bidding

News Release
September 5, 2003 Download PDF

The Oregon Center for Public Policy, a non-partisan research institute, today called Oregon Republican Party Chairman Kevin Mannix and anti-tax activist Don McIntire “Enron’s lackeys” because they are seeking to reverse the legislature's decision to raise Oregon’s corporate minimum tax from $10 to a graduated, progressive tax. Under the new legislation, small corporations will pay $250 and larger corporations, such as PGE/Enron, will pay $5,000.

“The Oregon Legislature took a long overdue but bold step by updating Oregon’s embarrassingly low corporate minimum tax,” said Charles Sheketoff, executive director of the Silverton-based research institute. “Now Mr. Mannix and Mr. McIntire are trying to manipulate voters into letting PGE/Enron and two-thirds of Oregon’s corporations get away with paying just $10 a year in income taxes on their profits.”

Download a copy of this news release:

Mannix and McIntire Doing PGE/Enron’s Bidding (PDF), September 5, 2003.

The Oregon Republican Party and McIntire’s Taxpayer Association of Oregon are supporting a referral that would reverse the legislature’s decision to maintain vital services and help Oregon's economy by changing several tax laws, including Oregon’s corporate minimum tax. The legislature’s changes would increase the minimum tax for all corporations according to the extent of their Oregon sales (see chart below).

“The public was rightly outraged to learn that a vast majority of Oregon’s businesses pay just $10 in income taxes, and that PGE/Enron is one of the companies that has been getting away with it,” said Sheketoff. “An unemployed worker pays more than $10 in taxes, and so should PGE/Enron.”

“PGE/Enron didn’t file the petition to reverse the law,” noted Sheketoff. “Instead, Mannix and McIntire are Enron’s lackeys, carrying their water to reduce the disgraced energy company’s taxes to just $10.”

“Mannix and McIntire are trying to hide their corporate giveaway by focusing their rhetoric on the temporary income tax surcharge,” said Sheketoff. “Mannix and McIntire do not want Oregonians to know that over the long term the real beneficiaries of their efforts will be PGE/Enron and the thousands of corporations who have been getting away with paying virtually no taxes.”

“Oregonians should not be fooled by Mannix and McIntire’s Enron deception,” said Sheketoff.

The Oregon Legislature established the corporate minimum tax in 1929, setting it at $25. Later that year the stock market crashed and the Great Depression began. The 1931 Legislative Assembly lowered the tax to $10, where it remained until the recent legislative session. “Mannix and mcintire want to take Oregon back to the 1930’s, giving a huge tax windfall to profitable companies like PGE/Enron,” said Sheketoff.

New Progressive Corporate Minimum Tax

Oregon Sales

C-Corp Tax

S-Corp Tax

Less than $20,000

$250

$250

$20,000 up to $100,000

$500

$250

$100,000 up to $1 million

$1,000

$250

$1 million up to $2 million

$1,000

$500

$2 million up to $5 million

$2,000

$500

$5 million up to $15 million

$3,000

$500

$15 million up to $25 million

$4,000

$500

$25 million or more

$5,000

$500

An “S-Corporation” is a form of corporation, allowed by the IRS for most companies with 75 or fewer shareholders, which enables the company to enjoy the benefits of incorporation but be taxed as if it were a partnership and avoid the federal corporate income tax. S-Corporations pay the state minimum tax when they file their corporate return, and their profits (or losses) are passed along to their shareholders and taxed under the personal income tax.

The Oregon Center for Public Policy first brought public attention to the outdated corporate minimum tax in a January 2002 article entitled "Enron and Oregon’s Revenue Shortfall” and again in February 2003 in an article entitled “Corporate Taxes 101”.

The Oregon Center for Public Policy is a Silverton, Oregon-based non-profit research institute that uses research and analysis to advance policies and practices that improve the economic and social prospects of low- and moderate-income Oregonians, the majority of Oregonians.

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