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Governor Should Veto Subsidy of Wall Street and Wealthy Investors

News Release
June 28, 2011 Download PDF

Statement on SB 817 by OCPP executive director Chuck Sheketoff

The Oregon House has approved a subsidy for Wall Street and wealthy investors that will take $78 million away from schools, health care and other vital services in the years ahead.

The New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) created by SB 817 will subsidize projects that will occur anyway. Investors already collect a federal NMTC, and nothing in the bill prevents Oregonians’ tax dollars from going to projects that will happen anyway under the federal program. Oregon historically has had more than its fair share of investments using the federal tax credit program, so there is no need to spend state tax dollars on the same investments.

Despite all the talk about creating jobs, the bill does not attach job standards to receipt of the subsidy. Jobs are thus an empty promise.

Nothing in the bill matches the rhetoric that investments will be made in small businesses. The bill has no provision limiting the investments to small businesses.

Worse, the legislation allows investors to carry their unused tax credits forward indefinitely. This is the only tax credit program with such a generous provision and sets a bad precedent.

The Governor should show the legislature how to be fiscally responsible and veto the misguided measure.