Oregon businesses pay fair share of taxes

Dan Lucas_July 2012_BW

by Dan Lucas

Marcia Atkinson reported in the Salem-Keizer Sentinel this week that Bill Dalton, Democratic candidate for state representative in House District 19 (Salem), told a neighborhood association that Oregon’s tax structure is outdated – that revenues are now “93% from individuals and 7% from business and corporations.”

Mr. Dalton isn’t even close on his numbers. It’s the same type of grossly inaccurate and false perception that Democrats successfully fostered during the Measure 66 and Measure 67 tax hikes back in 2010.

The truth is businesses already pay their fair share of Oregon’s taxes. Oregon businesses pay a third of all state taxes and half of local taxes (mainly property taxes). That’s according to the Total State and Local Business Taxes for FY2012 study, prepared by Ernst & Young in conjunction with the Council on State Taxation (COST) – published in 2013. [click here to see the relevant page in the study]

The COST study also noted that Oregon’s total state and local business taxes increased by 8.1% – more than double the national average state increase of 3.9%.

The COST study looks at more than just income taxes. It includes “business property taxes; sales and excise taxes paid by businesses on their input purchases; gross receipts taxes; corporate income and franchise taxes; business and corporate license taxes; unemployment insurance taxes; individual income taxes paid by owners of non-corporate (pass-through) businesses; and other state and local taxes that are the statutory liability of business taxpayers.” An example of an “other state and local tax” here in Oregon would be the Tri-Met tax paid by Portland area businesses.

The COST study has been cited a number of times (including in 2009 and 2011) by the Oregon Center for Public Policy (OCPP) – “the state’s leading progressive think tank.”

UPDATE (6/21): The best response to an Oregon Democratic candidate or official saying that “revenues are now 93% from individuals and 7% from business and corporations in Oregon’s tax structure” is to reply: that’s both inaccurate and extremely deceptive. It is more accurate and honest to say that Oregon businesses pay a third of all state taxes and half of local taxes. But for those who are interested in driving further down into the details, this addendum has been created to supplement the original article.

To read more from Dan, visit www.dan-lucas.com

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Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Local Taxes, State Taxes | 17 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Bob Clark

    Doubt the Oregonian runs a fact check on Dalton; and if they do, it would probably be “Mostly False” rather than just plain “False.”

  • rharris

    I suspect what Mr. Dalton may have been talking about is that of the total INCOME tax collected in Oregon, 93% is from individual income tax, and 7% is from business income tax. That is about correct. And it has gone way down for businesses over the past couple of decades.

    But of course businesses pay a lot of other taxes. As do actual people.

    The problem is a lot of candidates and a lot of reporters don’t understand the entire tax picture. Democrats hear the income tax ratio and think Businesses don’t pay any other taxes. Republicans hear that in Oregon businesses pay 36% of taxes, fees, and assessments (local and State) and don’t look a little deeper and see that the US State average is 45%. So we actually have a low overall tax burden on businesses.

    That’s all according to the article and source this article references.

    • .

      The biggest business of all is GOVT, aka Governmentium, raking in boo coo taxes and paying none.
      Such is life: Redistribution of wealth favoring their own payroll and doled out to minions who take the cake and walk enraptured with the circus act.

      On the other hand, private business and corporations are expected to cough up more, that while in site of an acute spread of TB (Totalitarian Botulism), grime example, ACA, pus’ a tsunami of executive orders foraging from the ‘Taint Right House on down toot’n from bed chamber pots of those schlepping with insurgents bent on turning our sovereign republic over into a bankrupt socialist fallacy ‘turbating for a New World Order

      • Randy L

        AGAIN on your period?

        • .

          Your periodical ended with the advent of comic books you looney buffoon.

  • Jack Lord God

    I am really getting a little sick of those that hate business taking food off my table. The ugly measure 67 ads really proved all one needs to know about these people. Oregons abysmal job situation is all you need to know about their results.

    For once, just for once, I would like it if one of these haters would just admit it – “wow, you were right, our policies did result in less growth”

    But no, haters can never admit when they are wrong. Sad really.

    • Eric Blair

      Well, perhaps because some of us don’t necessarily see the measures as causing or significantly contributing to the current issues we have. As with most things economic, there appears to be quite a bit of latitude for disagreement.

      As for haters, you sure got that right.

      • .

        E.B.’s Barack, no doubt about it.

        • Eric Blair

          Did you put on your cape? Tell everyone that this is a job for Uber Troll? lol You may thank me for the meal later. 😉

          • .

            Addressing >;~)=) or undressing JLG in your wildest dreams?

  • Sally

    No checking needed. If corporations pay taxes, then their customers are the ones paying them.
    It all comes around to no free lunch. People who want higher corporate taxes are actually taxing themselves more but are too stupid to know it.
    Sad, really, if you think about it.

    • HBguy

      I always wondered….Couldn’t you argue that if we just taxed corporate income(or more accurately business income) and not personal income, wouldn’t that be a pretty good system? When you have more, you consume more, and pay more tax. Don’t want to pay tax? don’t consume as much. And we could greatly reduce the IRS because we wouldn’t have 300 million taxpayer returns to go through and occasionally audit. And the underground economy would get taxed when the tax cheats spent those dollars they’ve been hiding.

      • Sally

        It is called a VAT and Europe has it already.

        • g

          And vat’s the truth that OR DEMster-diver-legislator, Al Ullman, dec’d, took to his grave situation – and, hopefully, it stays there.

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