OR Senate Republicans: give tax predictability to Nike and others

Oregon Senate Republican Office

Oregon Senate Republicans propose expansion of Gov. Kitzhaber’s Investment Act

Salem, OR – According to Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day), Governor Kitzhaber’s (D) proposal to grant tax predictability should apply to all Oregon businesses, not just Oregon’s flagship sports apparel giant Nike.

“We are thrilled that this legislation will secure Nike’s presence and leadership in Oregon well into the future,” said Ferrioli.  “But if stability and certainty are good for Nike, they are good for dozens of other Oregon companies that want to invest and grow in our state. Predictability is a powerful tool to help a business expand and put paychecks in the pockets of Oregonians. Certainty should be available to everyone.”

Senate Republicans want to expand the Governor’s Economic Impact Investment Act to include more businesses than just Nike. The Governor’s current proposal only allows him to sign a contract with a company committing to a $150 million investment while creating a minimum of 500 full-time jobs. At present, Nike is the only applicant. The Senate Republican proposal would empower the Governor to sign contracts with any Oregon company which will create jobs and invest in infrastructure in the state.

The contract would guaranty that a company’s tax liability is calculated using Oregon’s current single-sales factor, which doesn’t count payroll or property when determining how much a multi-state corporation owes. Instead, Oregon law only looks at sales in the state. That gives corporations such as Nike and Intel, which have vast payrolls and land holdings in Oregon but which sell most of their wares outside the state, an advantage.

“This could be an incredibly powerful toolbox for the governor as he works to put Oregon’s economy back on the map,” said Senator Larry George (R-Sherwood). “Everyone should have a shot at predictability. Giving other Oregon businesses this type of stability could mean greater investment in our state and more good-paying jobs for Oregon families.”

“The Governor told me he believes Oregon businesses need certainty,” said Senator Brian Boquist (R-Dallas).  “I think this amendment could provide certainty to all businesses, not just large businesses.”

A special session called explicitly to deal with the Governor’s proposal will convene Friday morning.