Flyers distributed by the Oregon Student Association (OSA) to students on university campuses contained incorrect information about Oregon ballot Measures 66 and 67.
The flyer in question was intended to educate students about the impacts of Measures 66 and 67. It was passed out to students in classrooms during presentations and placed next to ballot boxes attended by OSA.
The factual error is found on the reverse side in the bottom paragraph. It states: “It also increases the tax by 0.1% on corporations whose profits in OR exceed $500k.” This is not the case. Measure 67 creates a new tax on gross sales; in other words, it taxes revenues, not profits.
Profit and revenue are two very different things. Revenue is the amount of money that a company takes in. Profit is how much a company keeps after paying all their expenses, like salary and cost of goods sold. This tax was controversial for precisely this reason. A tax of this kind is unprecedented and could tax the revenues of companies even if they are not making money.
While a proper description of the revenue tax is found farther up the flyer, the mistake could have misled potential voters. However, this is not illegal. In fact, passing out material with flat-out lies to students in public university classrooms and campuses is not illegal. “Nothing in election laws prevent that,” says Carla Corbin a compliance specialist for the Secretary of State’s office.
When asked about the omission of the actual corporate profit tax, Kevin Glidden of OSA responded, “These flyers were meant to accompany the ballot measures’ presentation,”¦not meant to be stand-alone material.”
For a larger image of the flyer, visit Oregon Politico.
Jacob Szeto is Investigative Reporter at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.