Below is an excerpt from Oregon Governor candidate Chris Dudley’s 20-point plan to create private sector jobs report. We list the 20 ideas below:
1. Reduce Capital Gains Taxes by 73 Percent – With Oregon businesses facing the highest capital gains taxes in the nation, Chris Dudley will propose jump starting our economy by reducing Oregon’s capital gains rate from 11 percent to 3 percent (a 73 percent reduction) for two years and then resetting the rate to 5 percent in the years thereafter. This change will enable Oregon to have a competitive rate with neighboring states, making it more attractive to existing and new businesses.
2. Promote Local Job Recruitment – Chris Dudley wants to give cities and counties an incentive to recruit new businesses to Oregon by providing them half the additional state income tax revenues generated from the employees and businesses they recruit. Currently, Oregon’s recruitment strategy is based on property tax abatements under the state’s Strategic Investment Program. Forfeiting property tax revenues can act as a disincentive to local governments that depend on them to fund vital services. The remittance would be for the duration of the property tax abatement.
3. Align State and Federal Taxes – The 2009 Legislature rushed to disconnect Oregon from the federal tax code and denied Oregon businesses the tax relief contained in the 2009 Federal Stimulus Package, including proven strategies such as accelerated depreciation to stimulate the economy and create jobs. This move complicated tax compliance and exposed small businesses to increased errors and liabilities in their tax filings requiring Oregon businesses to keep “two sets of books” for federal and state taxes. A rolling reconnect to the federal code will provide certainty for Oregon’s small business, simplify tax filings with the state and the IRS, and lower accounting costs. Oregon should only disconnect from the federal code if doing so will give the state a competitive advantage and create jobs.
4. End Double Taxation – Chris Dudley will end the double taxation on agricultural co-ops and other Oregon businesses. Currently, many Oregon businesses, such as agricultural co-ops, are taxed two times: once on the co-op before revenue is shared with members and again when members receive their share of earnings. Chris Dudley believes double taxation is wrong and will end it.
5. Create Tax Relief for Emerging Businesses – Chris Dudley will allow qualifying small and emerging businesses the option to defer the majority of their income or excise taxes for two years, then pay back the deferred tax with interest, over a four year period. While small businesses are struggling to find adequate working capital through traditional bank financing, this will provide a way for businesses to help make ends meet during difficult times.
6. Implement the “Oregon Works” Initiative – Chris Dudley believes the state government should be providing a hand-up rather than a handout. To accomplish this, he will propose two new tax credits for small and emerging businesses that will phase out when Oregon’s unemployment rate dips below the national unemployment rate for two months:
Welfare-to-Work Tax Credit – Chris will propose a tax credit to employers who add workers who are currently on public assistance. The cost of the credits will be offset by reduced public assistance expenditures.
Back-to-Work Tax Credit – Chris Dudley will propose a one-time tax credit to small, emerging businesses that add workers who are currently receiving unemployment benefits.
Promote Sustainable Natural Resource Industries
Chris Dudley will re-focus state policies to support, not stand in the way of, sustainable natural resource industries in agriculture and ranching, timber and forest products, fishing and seafood and will be a champion for federal policies that properly balance jobs and conservation. To accomplish this, Oregon must:
7. Listen to Resource Communities – Chris Dudley will select a natural resources policy advisor, agency directors, natural resources agency staff and citizen appointees who understand Oregon’s natural resource industries and who will balance the need for jobs and conservation. As Governor, he will work with resource-based communities to promote and advance Oregon’s natural resource products around the world.
8. Better Utilize State Forest Lands – Oregon’s six large state forests are an underutilized asset that should be a greater source of jobs for Oregonians and revenues for state schools. For example, more active management of just the 93,000-acre Elliot State Forest could create between 165 and 195 jobs and would generate additional revenue for the state’s Common School Fund. Chris Dudley will balance the desire for conservation and recreation on state lands with the need and demand for forest products from state lands – products that create jobs and revenue for the Common School Fund. Taxes on timber harvests are a major source of revenue for Oregon public schools.
9. Water for our Future – Oregon is facing critical water levels across the state (not just in the Klamath and Umatilla basins) and has never had a strategic vision for water management. Chris Dudley will work to remove unnecessary barriers and allocate funding to water projects that focus on conservation, reuse and storage. Investments in these projects will assist struggling communities, enhance environmental stewardship, provide needed resources to grow our agricultural sector, and create jobs.
10. Support Oregon State University (OSU) Statewide Services – Chris Dudley understands the unique relationship between OSU and our natural resource sector. OSU’s statewide public services (extension service, experiment stations and forest research lab) embody the intersection of commerce, natural resource management and research. Chris Dudley will work to prioritize and restore funding in order to provide economic development opportunities for our natural resource employers.
11. Promote the Use of Forest Biomass – Chris Dudley believes that environmentally responsible stewardship of state forests and job creation are not mutually exclusive. Chris will promote the expansion of biomass cogeneration to achieve both of these goals. These projects provide economic stability for businesses and communities; hold broad community support; provide for forest health; and reduce the risk of uncharacteristic wildfire, all while meeting the test of employing science-based management.
Prepare Oregon for its Economic Future
Strengthen K-12 and Higher Education
A global economy demands a globally competitive education system – from pre-kindergarten through college. Chris Dudley understands that Oregon’s economic future depends on preparing the next generation for college, work and the world. Unfortunately, while good work is going on in classrooms across Oregon, the general state of education in Oregon, from pre-kindergarten through 12, has fallen behind. Nothing demonstrates this failure of leadership and progress more than Oregon’s humiliating retreat and defeat in the Obama Administration’s “Race to the Top” reform initiative. Oregon’s plans and strategies are fragmented and disconnected. In seeking needed reforms, we’ve allowed dysfunction among adults to deprive children and students. The result is that Oregon has no comprehensive approach to ensuring that every child leaves the public school system ready for college, work and the world. While the graduation rate for all students in Oregon is 84 percent, for Hispanic students it stands at 70.5 percent and for African-American students, the rate is 68.5 percent.
As Governor, Chris Dudley will make education reform a top priority, challenging the status quo and demanding that education policy and quality be put ahead of education politics. To achieve reform, Chris Dudley will shake-up the administration of schools, put an emphasis on teacher quality and preparedness and shine a light on programs and policies that are working in local communities to better educate our kids.
To accomplish this, Oregon must:
12. Prepare Every Child for College, Work and the World – Chris Dudley has released a comprehensive education reform plan available at www.chrisdudley.com. The focus of the plan can be summarized with the following words: accountability, performance, professionalism, choice and an end to business as usual.
Chris Dudley will see that Oregon’s youngsters arrive in kindergarten ready to learn, with disadvantaged students having access to a preschool or pre-kindergarten program. Our children should leave the third grade proficient in reading, with struggling readers having access to reading tutors. Parents should have the choice of where they send their children, and state education dollars should follow the child to a school in another district, a charter school, virtual school or alternative learning environment that meets the child’s need. He will push for a grading system for schools that is as simple as A-F and schools that are “full time learning” centers or so-called Community Schools where education continues after school and through the summer (the “third semester”), especially for children of low-income parents who cannot afford the enrichment activities other parents can. He’ll push for schools where meaningful professional development, peer-mentoring and teacher collaboration are rewarded. To graduate more students ready for advanced training and college, Chris Dudley will focus attention on the true proficiency of students (knowledge and skills) rather than just course credits or passing grades, allowing students to move at their own pace toward Advanced Placement classes, dual-credit opportunities and advanced career/technical training with state funding following the student. He’ll also reconstitute effective drop-out prevention programs and cost-saving measures to move dollars into our classrooms.
Chris Dudley believes our overall goal should be to end a K-12 system that produces too many drop-outs – particularly among our disadvantaged students – and “graduates” too many students unprepared for college or the work world. That system is not fair to the students or to the taxpayers, and it hurts Oregon’s economy. Oregon’s schools need greater accountability, higher performance standards, increased choice, and new ways to achieve savings in the classroom. Chris Dudley believes a wholesale transformation of our state’s education enterprise is critical to Oregon’s long-term economic health. We must ensure that our children arrive in kindergarten ready to learn and leave high school ready for a professional/technical career or college. We must keep our best and brightest in Oregon. In all this, we must see that our educational enterprise meets the needs of Oregon employers for innovative workers, now and into the future.
13. Transform Oregon Higher Education – Chris Dudley believes it’s never been more important for Oregon to have an accessible and high quality system of higher education. Higher education is essential to producing the innovators and leaders of tomorrow and to strengthening Oregon’s climate for job creation and economic growth. Regrettably, Oregon’s current system of higher education is falling behind due to an outdated governance and management model that limits autonomy, accountability and innovation.
For example, higher education budgets approved by the legislature include more than 6,000 categories compared with just a few for K-12 education and community colleges, despite the fact that 14 percent of university funding comes from the state compared with 72 percent of K-12 funding and 59 percent of community college funding. Former University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer said, “I am more and more convinced that our present system has just reached the outer limits of its utility.” The presidents of Oregon State University and Portland State University and the chancellor of the university system have expressed similar sentiments. In addition to political micro-management, the past 20 years have seen steady erosion in state financial support for higher education. Adjusting for inflation, state funding for the university system has decreased 16 percent the past 20 years while enrollment has increased 27 percent. And 20 years ago, students paid approximately 30 percent of the cost of their education. Now, tuition covers closer to 70 percent.
In December 2009, Chris Dudley was the first gubernatorial candidate to publicly embrace major reforms being advanced by state higher education leaders to reform the relationship between state universities and state government. For too long, Oregon has increased its regulation of higher education while decreasing funding – resulting in less autonomy, accountability and innovation. As Governor, Chris Dudley will champion reforms that will allow each institution the opportunity and responsibility to govern itself. In exchange, Dudley will demand a specific commitment to ensuring greater accessibility for Oregon students, improvements in efficiency and management, greater accountability and transparency and a robust commitment to innovation and partnerships with the private sector to strengthen the state economy.
14. Expand Research and Development (R&D) – Chris will support the extension of Oregon’s research and development tax credit, which is currently set to sunset. Oregon’s credit is modeled on the federal R&D credit. It provides a credit when a qualifying business increases its expenditures over a base year. The credit is not an entitlement for doing the same thing year after year. It is an incentive to increase R&D expenditures and make investments in emerging economic opportunities. Without action next session, Oregon’s R&D tax credit will be eliminated.
To help attract entrepreneurs and venture capital to the state, Chris Dudley will also urge the Legislature to expand Oregon’s R&D tax credit by making it refundable for small, emerging businesses. Research and development is something Oregon is doing right and must not abandon. In 2007, according to data from the National Science Foundation, Oregon business spending on R&D was ranked 9th nationally. The high wage jobs created by R&D businesses provide an opportunity to grow the foundation for more taxpayers in Oregon.
Ensure Oregon is Open for Business
Over the past 16 years (and recently due to government policies such as Ballot Measures 66 and 67) Oregon’s business reputation has been further tarnished and confidence in Oregon as a place to invest has declined. As Governor, Chris Dudley will lead Oregon’s economic comeback by declaring that Oregon is indeed open for business and will pursue policy and personnel changes to demonstrate that state government is eager for both existing and new businesses to invest here and grow here.
To accomplish this, Oregon must:
15. Implement Operation “Second Look” – As he detailed in his 26 Point Plan to Control Spending and Reform Government, Chris Dudley will ask his budget manager and agency heads to re-examine all programs and positions added in the 2009 Legislature. Chris Dudley believes that state government should have put its fiscal house in order before building additions. As governor, he will take a second look at these 2009 add-ons and recommend not moving forward on these new enterprises or eliminating older ones to offset the costs.
16. Promote Oregon’s Comeback at Home and Around the World – While Oregon has many natural assets and is known for many positive things, a friendly business environment, regrettably, isn’t generally one of them. As Governor, Chris Dudley will combine his unique professional background with Oregon’s many natural assets to promote Oregon across the nation, and around the world as a desirable investment and tourist destination. Chris Dudley will promote Oregon’s deep water ports as import and export hubs and include the ports in the development of his trade agenda. Following legislative approval of his comeback agenda, Chris Dudley will recruit people from across the nation and around the world to visit, invest and stay in Oregon.
17. Require Economic Impact Analysis On Legislation – As Chris Dudley outlined in his 26 Point Plan to Control Spending and Reform Government, he will require that all final bills requiring his signature include an economic impact statement, detailing potential private-sector job impacts and increased compliance costs for business. The Legislative Fiscal Office estimates what bills will cost the state, and the Legislative Revenue Office estimates what tax changes will mean for state revenues. These estimates provide important information to policy makers, but they rarely mention the legislation’s potential impact on Oregon’s private sector.
18. Refresh State Government with New People, New Attitudes – As Governor, Chris Dudley will change Oregon’s job creation policies by changing the people who help shape them. Chris Dudley will breathe new life into state government by hiring and appointing a new generation of people from diverse and balanced backgrounds without regard to partisan politics and from every corner of the state. Special attention will be given to ensuring that women and minorities are represented in a Dudley Administration. Mostly, Chris Dudley will seek quality people who share a commitment to restoring private sector job growth as the foundation to saving our quality of life.
19. Build the Columbia River Crossing; End the Gridlock – Chris Dudley believes it’s critical for the regional economy to end the bureaucratic grid-lock that has already cost taxpayers $100 million (and counting) only to discuss a new I-5 Interstate Crossing. As Governor, Chris Dudley will support a bi-state authority (appointed by the governors of Oregon and Washington) to oversee the project and its management; removing the many layers of competing governments that have failed to agree on a plan for the project. The management authority will have a single director and will remain in place for the life of the project to oversee eventual design, construction and funding implementation.
20. Implement a Balanced State Energy Plan – Chris Dudley believes access to reliable, affordable energy is essential to creating a positive environment for job growth. He also believes that innovation in energy production can and should be a source of future jobs and economic growth in our state.
As Governor, Chris Dudley will support an energy policy that balances the need for necessary infrastructure with our existing efficiency and conservation programs. He will maintain a strong commitment to the development of renewable energy sources such as wind, wave, solar and geothermal while also supporting an affordable, safe and reliable energy infrastructure necessary during the transition to more supplies of renewable and sustainable sources of energy. He will vigorously defend the region’s hydroelectric power system that is an abundant source of reliable, affordable, carbon-free energy. He also supports a collaborative, science-based approach to saving salmon in the Columbia River.