Sen. Bonham: Anti-business, California-backed measure to experiment on Oregonians

By Oregon State Senator Daniel Bonham,
Senate Republican Leader

Initiative Petition 17, which seeks to raise corporate taxes to fund an uber-liberal, half-baked universal income program seems to be getting enough signatures to appear on the ballot. There is a lot to unpack here with this proposal.

First, this is just another hit toward the state’s increasingly toxic business climate. Businesses in our state already pay a corporate activity tax, gross receipts tax, payroll tax, local taxes and more. Taxing businesses to the point of them moving out of our state will not make anyone’s lives better. Inflation effects alone will make this policy unsustainable.

Second, the irony of the government giving money to residents they took out of their pockets due to bad policy is laughable. High gas prices, inflation and rising costs due to bad policy decisions are all making our state more unaffordable. To penalize businesses who contribute to our economy, provide a service and produce jobs to counter our government’s affordability shortcomings is backward decision-making. We need incentive-based programs that make our state more affordable, not financial bandaids on the backs of our businesses.

Finally, this measure is being pushed by California-based millionaires and idealouges. Having one of the most unaffordable and most anti-business states in the country influencing our state policies is offensive and deeply unsettling on many levels. It is rumored that running these pie-in-the-sky initiatives is too expensive to do in California, so the political backers are choosing to use our state as a test tube for bad policy.

This petris-dish political move from California is not new for our state. The same strategy was used for Measure 110 to make Oregon the first state to decriminalize drugs. We are still reeling from this political disaster and will continue to do so for years to come.

Oregon’s social experiments have failed enough. I call on our officials and residents to reject this experimental policy-making on the backs of our communities.