will ask voters to overturn Ore. business tax hikes
Radio personality and Oregon State Director of Americans For
Prosperity Jeff Kropf said Friday, June 12, his organization
is challenging tax increases adopted this week by the
Kropf said Americans for Prosperity and other organizations
opposed to the tax increases already are preparing petitions
to circulate to voters.
Kropf said the group anticipates no difficulties gathering the
55,000 signatures necessary to place a measure challenging the
increases on the November ballot.
Americans for Prosperity is a national organization advocating
limited government and free markets on the local, state and
The Oregon Senate one day earlier, on June 11, approved tax
increases on corporations and the state's wealthiest
households, despite failing to generate a single "yes" vote
Kropf formerly served as a Republican representative from
The increases are contained in two bills: House Bill 3405
raises corporate taxes and House Bill 2649 raises income taxes
for households earning more than $250,000.
The revenue-raising bills needed "yes" votes from all 18
Democrats in the 30-member Senate to obtain the supermajority
needed to pass.
The two bills are expected to generate $733 million to help
fill a $4 billion state budget gap.
HB3405 raises the corporate minimum tax from its current $10
to a minimum of $150 for corporations with less than $500,000
in Oregon sales. The tax is determined on a sliding scale
based on gross sales receipts. It caps out at $100,000 for
businesses with $100 million in sales.
The Oregon Farm Bureau, in a news letter to its members,
wrote: "The bottom line is that any of our Oregon Farm Bureau
members that are organized as a C-Corp should immediately meet
with an accountant to evaluate the pros and cons of
reorganizing under a different structure."
HB3405 also raises some filing fees and increases taxes for
companies that generate more than $250,000 in taxable income.
Senate Republicans - like House Republicans did previously -
roundly rejected the tax increases.
"These taxes will undermine the small businesses that create
jobs and help communities around Oregon thrive," said Sen.
Chris Telfer, R-Bend.
"We're asking people who are potentially operating at a loss
to pay an increase in taxes," said Sen. Jeff Kruse,
"We've already lost 40,000 jobs in the timber industry," said
Sen. Fred Girod, R-Stayton. "This is ridiculous."
Democrats hailed the package, saying it brings balance to the
state's tax structure and is necessary to maintain vital state
"It's time to bring more fairness and equity to Oregon's tax
code," said Sen. Diane Rosenbaum, D-Portland.
"This state will go into chaos without these bills," said Sen.
Alan Bates, D-Ashland.
Gov. Ted Kulongoski applauded the Legislature's actions in a
press release issued shortly after the Senate's actions.
"This vote was not easy," Kulongoski said, "but it was
necessary to protect our middle class and prevent devastating
cuts to programs like education, health care and public