Over the last 10 months, families, businesses, and nonprofits across our state have had to tighten their belts and prioritize spending as the economic fallout from the COVID pandemic and wildfires devastated household incomes and robbed businesses and nonprofits of critical operating revenues. We expect our state leaders to do the same.
The state projects a 3.5% to 4% revenue shortfall for the 2021-2023 fiscal biennium. That shortfall is miniscule compared to the devastating financial losses experienced by many Oregon businesses, nonprofits, and households this year. But instead of prioritizing spending to meet available revenue – as many Oregonians have had to do – Gov. Kate Brown’s budget includes revenue-raising measures that are effectively tax increases aimed primarily at small Oregon businesses. Oregon Business & Industry disagrees with that approach.
In the midst of the greatest economic downturn to hit our state in a century, our focus must be on achieving economic recovery with an equity lens — and helping employers get back on their feet, so that jobs and household incomes can be restored. OBI will strongly oppose any budget proposal that includes new tax revenue, and we urge the Oregon Legislature to balance the state’s budget based on the revenues that are available, not on hidden tax increases that will make it harder for businesses to recover and restore jobs.