Background

Given the continued economic uncertainty around COVID and the recognition of significant tax increases over the last two years at both the statewide and local levels, OBI’s tax policy priorities will remain largely unchanged. OBI’s priorities here will continue to include protecting Oregon’s employers and their employees by working to stop all attempts to raise existing taxes, create new taxes, or reduce or eliminate important tax incentive programs.

Similarly, OBI will continue to advocate for spending restraint for new or expanded state programs and services. One-time federal funds distributed to help Oregon recover from the COVID pandemic must be used for one-time investments only. Such money should not be used to fund new programs that will require new revenue sources to sustain.

 

Policy Objectives

Do no harm: Raising businesses taxes and fees should be off the table given the significant tax increases imposed over the past two years and the continued economic uncertainty related to the COVID pandemic, including workforce and supply-chain difficulties.

Protect the projected 2021-2023 ending balance of $3.7 billion: This money should be used to maintain critical state services in future biennia. Budget requests must be managed with this goal in mind.

Use federal funds sensibly: The state has received considerable COVID relief funds from the federal government and still has nearly $2 billion in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds in reserve. This money must be used for one-time investments toward economic recovery and stability, not toward new programs and services that may require future revenue sources to sustain.

Focus on economic growth: OBI will promote policies that support job creation, private investment, innovation, employer retention and a positive business climate. Policymakers should recognize that a thriving private sector is the best way to support government services sustainably.

 

2022 Tax Policy Positions

  • Oppose all business tax increases
  • Oppose all personal income tax increases.
  • Evaluate future changes to federal tax code on case-by-case basis to determine further connection
  • Support tax credits and incentives for economic development and business investment
  • Support alignment of state and local tax structures and compliance requirements
  • Support efforts to reduce pyramiding effects related to the corporate activity tax
  • Support interim review of property tax system to make recommendations to the 2023 Legislature. Oppose any proposal to change Oregon’s property tax structure that disrupts the balance between business property taxpayers and personal property taxpayers

 

2022 Budget Policy Positions

  • Support prioritization of existing critical programs
  • Delay costly new initiatives
  • Ensure that one-time federal COVID funds are used only for one-time expenditures
  • Urge the Legislature to continue to look for opportunities to reduce the cost of legacy programs, such as PERS and PEBB, which affect both state and local budgets

CHAIRS:

Scott Hibbs, The Standard
Rob O’Neill, Moss Adams LLP

Download OBI’s 2022 Policy Principles

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