Statewide Business Group Sounds Alarm on Taxes

A statewide business advocacy organization is sounding the alarm about increasing state and local taxes on companies in Oregon, releasing a new report that finds the total state tax burden will increase 41% by 2022 — and warning that local taxes on Portland area businesses will increase to 42% in the same period if all regional, county and city tax measures on the Nov. 3 general election ballot pass.

“Oregon and the Portland-metro region compete with other states and metro regions for new jobs, and especially with our fellow western states. Cost matters. This increase in the business tax burden is significant and has the potential of making it harder for our state to grow new jobs — and recover from this recession — if we don’t put the brakes on new taxes,” said Sandra McDonough, president and CEO of Oregon Business and Industry. Its Education and Research Foundation commissioned the report, which in an in-depth, Oregon-specific version of an annual study conducted every year in all 50 states for the State Tax Research Institute to rank state-by-state tax burdens.

All of the enacted and pending tax increases have their passionate supporters, however. They include Democrats, public employee unions, environmentalists, health care providers, social service providers, homeless and affordable housing advocates, and community-based organizations. Voter-approved measures have passed by healthy margins.

According to the report released on Wednesday, Oct. 14, when comparing all 50 states, Oregon already has moved from the 40th position in statewide business tax burden to No. 19 just since 2019.

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