Oregon Dems extend tax break for big business


Oregon Senate Republican Office

Oregon Democrats extend tax break for big business – but they vote down tax relief for small businesses

Salem, OR – Providing a stark contrast in priorities, Democrats handily passed a bill Monday morning that extends millions in tax breaks for big shipping corporations while defeating a Republican proposal to give property tax relief to small Oregon businesses.

“Democrats continue to give nothing but lip-service and symbolic gestures to Oregon small businesses,” said Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend). “This was an opportunity to do something for small employers and the hundreds of thousands of Oregonians they employ. Unfortunately, Democrats are becoming known around here as the party of ‘no’ and today proved to be no exception.”

Republicans used a procedural move known as a “minority report” to bring a modest small business tax relief proposal to the Senate floor. The proposal would have increased the amount of total assessed value of taxable personal property that can be exempted from property taxation from $16,000 to $25,000. The proposal mirrors Senate Bill 670, a bill Republicans have been unable to get a hearing on in committee. Democrats defeated the proposal on a party line vote, 14 to 15.

Later in the morning, Democrats pushed House Bill 2904 through the Senate, a bill that extends the sunset for property tax exemption for cargo containers.

“House Bill 2904 may be decent policy, but the benefits of a property tax exemption should be made available to small businesses as well as big shipping corporations,” said Senator Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day). “If we are going to move beyond a slow and sluggish recovery into a period of robust growth, we have to start taking proactive steps to nurture, support and encourage Oregon small businesses.”

Senate Republicans have proposed a laundry list of bills that could aid small businesses in Oregon and spur economic growth. They have also organized an Oregon Jobs Caucus to work in a bi-partisan way on jobs bills.