It's time to end Oregon’s "corporate tax dodge"

| Print |  Email
Monday, May 01, 2006

Bill Thorndike of Medford Fabrication challenged the business community, saying, “It’s time we start giving more to schools than lip service or the random auction item, and start putting our money where our mouths are” [Time to step up, FIRST PERSON, March]. I couldn’t agree more. Thorndike’s solution, though, won’t cut it.

While facilitating an increased involvement by parents is necessary for a better education system, it is not sufficient. There is an equally critical role for Oregon’s business community that Oregonians must not overlook: Corporate Oregon needs to share fairly in financing public services. We cannot volunteer our way out of what is fundamentally a flawed financing structure for vital public services.

What Oregon schools need is a business community that is willing to pay its fair share of the cost of providing the basic public services it relies upon every day. Corporate Oregon needs to stop dodging its responsibility.

Over the last 25 years, Oregon’s corporate income tax has plummeted both as a share of the state economy and as a share of all income taxes paid in Oregon. Today, corporations operating in Oregon are paying about 71% less in state corporate income taxes as a share of the economy than they did in the late 1970s and are paying about 6% of income taxes compared to about 18% in the mid-1970s.

If corporate income taxpayers still paid the same share of income taxes they paid in 1973-75, state revenue would be about $1.8 billion higher this budget period. With K-12 education getting about 43% of the state general fund and lottery dollars, Oregon’s schools are losing out on at least $774 million in this budget cycle alone.

The long-term decline in corporate in-come taxes has occurred because corporations have won a number of tax breaks, and because corporations have grown aggressive about employing abusive tax shelters. A new tax break for companies with few Oregon sales but significant property and payroll in Oregon will cost Oregon over $70 million this budget period and will keep Oregon corporate income tax collections relatively flat for the rest of this decade.

Thorndike and other business leaders should not allow corporate Oregon to continue to avoid its commitment to quality public education. It is time for corporate Oregon to step up and do its part to improve education by picking up its fair share of Oregon’s income taxes and ending the outrageous corporate tax dodge.

— Chuck Sheketoff
Oregon Center for Public Policy
Silverton


Have an opinion?
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Knight Cancer Challenge No Biotech Dream

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

The Knight challenge is an important instance of philanthropy. But we should not assume it will magically transform OHSU into a business- and job-spinning engine for the local economy.


Read more...

Shades of Gray

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

Are we too quick to diagnose corruption?


Read more...

European Vacation

Guest Blog
Thursday, April 23, 2015
norristhumbBY JASON NORRIS | GUEST BLOGGER

There are winners and losers with a strengthening U.S. dollar.


Read more...

Fighting Fire With Fire

May 2015
Friday, April 24, 2015
BY BEN DEJARNETTE | INVESTIGATEWEST

Timber companies and environmental groups take a stab at collaboration to boost logging and restoration in Oregon fires.


Read more...

Intrepid reporter checks out ZoomCare rebrand

The Latest
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
dentistthumbPHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Like all good journalists, OB editorial staff typically eschew freebies. But health care costs being what they are, digital news editor Jacob Palmer couldn't resist ZoomCare's offer of a three-in-one (cleaning, exam, whitening) dental office visit, guaranteed to take no more than 57 minutes. 


Read more...

Oregon businesses face destruction from future earthquake

The Latest
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
htctthumb1BY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

An earthquake would completely destroy many Oregon businesses, highlighting the urgent need for the private and public sectors to collaborate on shoring up disaster preparedness, said panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast summit today.


Read more...

Beneath the Surface

May 2015
Thursday, April 23, 2015
0515-goodhacker01 250pxwBY LINDA BAKER

On April 1 I attended a forum at the University of Portland on the sharing economy. The event featured panelists from Lyft and Airbnb, as well as Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. Asked about the impact of tech-driven sharing economy services. Hales said the new business models are reshaping the landscape. “But,” he added, “I don’t pretend to understand how a lot of this [technology] works.” 


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS