Oregon Legislature: Let All Oregon Businesses Find Their Greatness

All Oregon businesses should get the same opportunities to find greatness. As shown in this ad by Nike, greatness is not reserved for a few.

“Greatness is no more unique to us than breathing. We’re all capable of it.”

Governor Kitzhaber’s proposal to ensure tax certainty for Nike unfortunately leaves out most Oregon companies that also hope to “become great.”

Cascade Policy Institute Statement on Nike Special Session

SALEM, Ore.- Cascade Policy Institute Founder and Senior Policy Analyst, Steve Buckstein, issued the following testimony to present before the Legislature’s Joint Special Committee on Economic Development in regards to to the Economic Impact Investment Act of 2012:

“Good morning, Co-Chair Burdick, other co-chairs and members of the committee. I’m Steve Buckstein, Senior Policy Analyst and founder of Cascade Policy Institute, a public policy research center based in Portland. Our mission is to promote individual liberty, personal responsibility, and economic opportunity in Oregon.

“Regarding the concept of this legislation, I have some praise for the Governor, coupled with concerns and suggestions for making the bill better, and fairer.

“First, the fact that the Governor is ready to grant tax certainty to Nike and other big companies in return for capital investment and job creation should be applauded. It’s recognition that taxes matter, and good tax policy can attract business and jobs. But, Oregonians of all political stripes also appreciate fairness, and I’m concerned that this legislation will be fundamentally unfair, especially to small businesses and many Oregon job seekers.

“The Governor only wants to make tax certainty deals with what he calls “the right kind of businesses” that will drive our per capita income up. This leaves out people who, for whatever reason, have little education and/or few job skills. These are often the young and minorities, for whom a lower wage job is the first rung up the economic ladder.

“Also, granting the Governor power to approve or disapprove such deals at all risks charges of favoritism and corruption. Just think about Nike getting its deal while one of its competitors is later turned down. A level playing field would eliminate these concerns. One way to do this is with a formula that prorates the number of jobs and capital investment required to the business size. For example, 500 jobs added to Nike’s current 8,000 Oregon employees would equate to 125 new jobs for a company that currently employs 2,000 Oregonians, without any gubernatorial discretion at all.

“And, what’s magical about the 500-job threshold in the first place? While that’s a big number anywhere in Oregon, 50 jobs may be a big number in smaller communities. And, five jobs may be significant elsewhere. This is a small business state; so why not expand tax certainty to the businesses that create most of the jobs already?

“In conclusion, I agree that granting Nike tax certainty is a good idea. But it would be an even better idea if all companies got the same certainty—big and small alike. That way, every Oregonian would stand to benefit, and the program would be fair to all.

“Thank you.”

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Posted by at 03:43 | Posted in Economy, Taxes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 29 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • I note that the progressive gov is proposing special tax treatment for a rich white guy member of a tiny rich subset of the much hated one percent. This is the reality of progressives – they really feed buckets of government favors to the super rich! They support crony capitalists.

    Why not let all people in on this bennie: start with ONE job created in any industry.

    Or better yet, just freeze tax policy (or lower taxes) for everyone.

    Thanks

    JK.

    • crabman34

      Kitzhaber is no progressive and you know it. You’re cherry picking an idiotic effort by Oregon dems to make a non-point (how silly to claim that “this is how progressives work” as if the modern democratic party and its progressive wing were the primary ones passing law after law protecting the super rich. I’m not saying they aren’t doing it, but please don’t pretend that they are even the main culprits). Oregon and national repubs do the same thing because this is how modern American politics works. It should be changed, but I sense that If it was George W handing out special treatment to Big pharma, you’d probably be defending him.

      As soon as you get over this idea that progressive values are inherently evil, you’ll find that there is common ground among many of your fellow citizens. Demonizing others gets you nowhere. But I sense that you’d rather not discuss real solutions, just throw your Randian silliness around from behind the safety of your screen.

      • crabman34: You’re cherry picking an idiotic effort by Oregon dems to make a non-point (how silly to claim that “this is how progressives work” as if the modern democratic party and its progressive wing were the primary ones passing law after law protecting the super rich.
        JK: Of course it is the Democrats that are shoveling Oregon’s cash to crony capitalists:
        * Wind subsidies.
        * Solar subsidies
        * Biofuel subsidies.
        * Intel subsidies
        * Nike subsidies.
        * High density developer subsidies
        * Streetcar manufacturer subsidies
        * Light rail is a multi billion dollar subsidy to construction firms, banks, operating & construction unions and land developers.

        crabman34: …just throw your Randian silliness around from behind the safety of your screen.
        JK: What an amazing comment from someone hiding their identity!!

        Thanks
        JK

        • crabman34

          Not really a response to what I said. More like further proof that you aren’t interested in real discourse, just demonization and lies. Let’s see what conservatives like to subsidize, since we are in the business of cherry picking:
          – Oil profits
          – Gas profits
          – Fracking profits
          – Defense Industry profits
          – Weapons industry profits
          – Religious organizations
          – For-profit colleges

          See? It’s so easy when you put your mind to it.

          Now, the difference between you and I Karlock (if that is your real name), is that I decry all of these subsidies. You, on the other hand, pretend at being a libertarian but won’t call out your fellow conservatives on their BS.

          And that is why you are a weak-minded, lilly-livered, mentally-deficient phony,

          Thanks bud.

          • crabman34: Let’s see what conservatives like to subsidize, since we are in the business of cherry picking:
            – Oil profits
            – Gas profits
            – Fracking profits
            JK: Are you saying there is special tratment for these industries? If so, please explain. Note that most industries are allowed to deduct their costs.

            Also, please compare Oil, Gas and Fracking subsidies to green energy subsidies in terms of energy actually produced ie: subsidy per BTU or KW-Hr

            crabman34:
            – Defense Industry profits
            – Weapons industry profits
            – Religious organizations
            – For-profit colleges
            JK: Are you trying to say Republicans subidize these (and the above) over the objections of Democrats? How many Democrats voted for these alleged subsidies. Note that mosat people agree that national defense in necessary (and one of the few things the modern Feds do that is actually in the constitution.)

            crabman34: Now, the difference between you and I Karlock (if that is your real name), is that I decry all of these subsidies. You, on the other hand, pretend at being a libertarian but won’t call out your fellow conservatives on their BS.
            JK: You are making quite a few assumptions.

            crabman34: And that is why you are a weak-minded, lilly-livered, mentally-deficient phony,
            JK: Ahh! The mark of a true thinker – name calling. I can see why you are hiding your real name.

            Thanks
            JK

  • Bob Clark

    Right on! We all need tax certainty, except for World War type emergencies. Tying tax and government fee revenues and state and local government expenditures to the underlying economy, rather than allowing government to continuously grab for more in worthless attempts to right perceived wrongs, would lend to tax certainty for all by keeping government sized to the ability of its citizens to support it.

    • thetaxman

      Can you articulate what you mean by “tax certainty” and why it is all important? It comes across as a buzz-word dog whistle type thing that means nothing other than “I’m a republican and I don’t like to pay taxes.”

  • mike

    Agreed. If these Nike buffoons can’t make their business work here, they should move to Texas.

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