Oregon’s Measure 97 was a corporate tax increase that went down in flames in November and became one of the most lopsided ballot measure losses in state history. Undeterred, Oregon Sen. Mark Hass — a Democrat from Beaverton — has introduced a bill to replace Oregon’s current corporate income tax with a gross receipts tax similar to that in Measure 97.
So far — and Hass says the percentage is a placeholder that will likely change — the proposal has the gross receipts tax at 0.7% of business sales in Oregon. This applies to companies with gross sales in Oregon of $1 million or more.
Hass contends it modernizes and stabilizes the state’s tax system.
This particular version of the tax is about 2/3 of the 2.5% rate of Measure 97 but it kicks in at a lower sales threshold. That means more businesses will be affected.
People on the right and the left have problems with Hass’ proposal. It’s a flat tax and it’s hard on businesses with marginal profits. This kind of tax — also — gets passed on to consumers. It’s — as some say — a sales tax in disguise.
A business-backed coalition Priority Oregon has already started television ads attacking Hass’ proposal. The title is It’s Really Just a Sales Tax and it points out this is just the same thing the voters rejected in November.
The group points out that this will just increase the cost of goods and services and that includes food, clothing, gas and cable TV. And former Wilsonville, Oregon Republican Representative John Davis — who heads the group — says radio ads and social media will soon follow.
Davis said the plan is to get legislators to vote no on the bill and to work toward curbing the cost of government instead. “Until that is done, no additional revenue is going to solve this issue,” he said.
Members of the group include the Oregon Small Business Association and the Taxpayer Association of Oregon who — like Davis — thought this issue with the 59% to 41% statewide vote, on Measure 97 was “behind us.”
Source link: OregonLive.com