The Joint Committee on Tax Reform hosted a public hearing in Salem Tuesday morning on a plan that aims to help address the state’s $1.4 billion budget gap.
The plan would raise corporate income taxes in 2019 based on gross receipts on sales above $3 million each year. The bill would impose a temporary tax increase until 2019.
The system would be tiered, with taxes on agricultural businesses at the lowest level of 0.15 percent.
Still, Oregon Farm Bureau Federation Director of State Public Policy Jenny Dresler said the agriculture industry would be disproportionately harmed by the proposal.
“Our members have made it clear that they are opposed to any tax mechanism that separates the obligation to pay from the ability to pay,” she said. “Nobody should be required an income related-tax when there is no net income.”
But the majority of the morning testimony was in favor of the proposal’s potential to increase funding for education and essential public services.
Mark Jackson is the co-founder and executive Director of Reap, Incorporated—a Portland based multicultural youth outreach organization.
“According to research by ECONorthwest, if the achievement gap of Oregon’s adult population had been eliminated a decade ago, Oregon’s economic activity would have been $1.9 billion higher than 2013,” Jackson said.
The committee will hold a second public hearing on the plan Monday evening.