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Oregon's Business Lobby Challenged to "Invest In Oregon"

News Release
August 31, 2004 Download PDF

Today's revenue forecast that Oregon corporations can expect a $68.1 million tax cut under Oregon's so-called "kicker" law prompted a challenge to "invest in Oregon" from a critic of the automatic tax cut law.

Oregon Center for Public Policy executive director Charles Sheketoff said "each of the groups in the big business lobby, Associated Oregon Industries, Oregon Business Association and the Oregon Business Council, claim they support investments in Oregon's education system and other public investments that improve our business climate. Given that fewer than 4 out of 100 corporations will reap 90 percent of the tax cut while all of Oregon benefits from investments in education and public services, the business lobby should take the high road and urge the Legislature to invest in Oregon by canceling their automatic tax cut."

Sheketoff noted that studies by the Utah State Tax Commission and the business-backed Council on State Taxation show that Oregon businesses have a low tax burden compared to other states in the West and nationally. "Oregon's corporations already have a very low tax burden, making this planned tax cut even more inappropriate and wrongheaded," said Sheketoff.

"This anticipated tax cut exacerbates the revenue shortfall that Oregon faces next biennium in meeting demands for education and other public services that Oregonians enjoy," added Sheketoff. "The business lobby demands investments in education and other public services that improve our business climate. It is time for them to put their money where their mouth is and turn back this unnecessary tax cut."

Sheketoff noted that the kicker kicks when revenues exceed projections by a team of economists and that individual taxpayers probably won't get a kicker tax cut. "Giving a tax cut that primarily benefits a handful of large corporations at a time when our business environment needs public investments makes no sense," he added.

The Oregon Center for Public Policy uses research and analysis to advance policies and practices that improve the economic and social opportunities of low- and moderate-income Oregonians, the majority of Oregonians.