Time and time again, the business community has labeled any tax that would ask corporations to pay their fair share in taxes a “sales tax.” It’s a tired but hopelessly effective trick: It’s really easy to fearmonger over price increases, especially when compared to defending corporate greed. Every time someone proposes an corporate tax, corporate opponents respond: it’s a sales tax.
So here’s the curious thing: businesses in Oregon really want a sales tax. The business community has spent years lobbying for one. But don’t take our word for it. Here’s top Oregon business lobbyist JL Wilson saying as much himself:
You heard that right — it’s not just that Oregon’s business community supported a sales tax once. They support raising consumer prices every time. So when the business community came out with a new sales tax boogeyman last week, it was obvious that they weren’t being entirely honest. Yet again, big corporations are trying to get out of paying their fair share in Oregon.
Business, under its new shadow group Priority Oregon, has now said they’ll oppose any proposal to raise corporate taxes, even though corporations pay barely any taxes in Oregon. Another bait and switch. Last year business repeatedly pledged to do their part to solve Oregon’s funding crisis.
We were counting on business to fulfill their promise to come to the table and find a solution. Turns out, all they ever intended to do was delay, delay, delay in hopes they can keep their dead-last corporate taxes. Once again, they’ve dusted off the same old corporate playbook.
Oregon deserves better. After decades of disinvestment, Oregon schools and family services have been stretched thin and we’re all paying the price. It’s time for business to keep its promise and join lawmakers, advocates, and families in solving Oregon’s budget crisis. Help us spread the word and build a better Oregon.