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Group abandons repeal of $1 billion Oregon business tax

Monday, July 22, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Beth Farmer
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The group Oregon Manufacturers & Commerce announced last week it won’t proceed with a ballot box initiative to repeal Oregon’s new business gross receipts tax, which was passed during the recent legislative session.

The tax is scheduled to go into effect in January and raise $1 billion annually, with the money earmarked for education. Businesses will pay a 0.57 percent tax on Oregon sales above $1 million, but will be able to deduct 35 percent of their labor or capital costs from the taxable sales.

The group cited a variety of factors in its decision, saying that the Legislature deliberately made such a ballot referral difficult in a variety of ways. The decision, of course, does not rule out an attempt by someone else to launch a repeal attempt, but they too would have to deal with the same factors making it difficult to accomplish.

The Oregon Association of Nurseries opposed the tax on the grounds that it taxes income rather than profit, placing an unfair burden on high-volume, low-margin businesses including nurseries. “We remain opposed to this tax and are prepared to support a ballot referral that has adequate support,” OAN Executive Director Jeff Stone said.