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Initiative Proposes Large Corporations Pay for Education and Other Services

An analysis from Salem found an initiative heading to the November ballot to tax large corporations would add $3 billion to Oregon's budget. (Shaundd/Wikimedia Commons)
An analysis from Salem found an initiative heading to the November ballot to tax large corporations would add $3 billion to Oregon's budget. (Shaundd/Wikimedia Commons)
May 25, 2016

SALEM, Ore. - A proposal heading to the November ballot would raise taxes on the largest corporations in Oregon in order to fund education, health care and senior services in the state.

That proposal, Initiative Petition 28, would add $3 billion a year to the state's budget, according to an analysis by the Legislative Revenue Office this week.

Lisa Fragala, a second-grade teacher in Eugene who worked with A Better Oregon to gain signatures, said schools are in desperate need of funds.

"The services that have been cut have long ago reached a critical point," she said, "and now what we're looking at is a crisis, and I don't think we can wait any longer."

The proposal would increase the minimum tax on C-corporations with sales of more than $25 million in Oregon to 2.5 percent. Last week, supporters turned in more than 130,000 signatures -- 40,000 more than needed -- to qualify the proposal for the ballot.

Opponents have argued that the measure would place a big tax burden on companies doing business in the state. Fragala said this is simply a way for corporations to pay their fair share to institutions from which they already benefit.

"They get a lot of benefits, including educated citizens, good infrastructure in our state," she said, "and they can afford to contribute to making sure that we have the schools that our community needs."

The legislative analysis also found that the proposal could affect the economy, causing the loss of about 38,000 private-sector jobs by 2022. However, the analysis also pointed out that 18,000 jobs would be gained in the public sector.

The Legislative Revenue Office's report is online at olis.leg.state.or.us. Details of IP 28 are at oregonvotes.org.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - OR