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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Think Tank Says Oregon Corporations' Share Of Tax Burden Is Declining

Chris Lehman
Northwest News Network

A newly released report from the left-leaning Oregon Center for Public Policy has found that Oregon corporations today are paying a smaller portion of the state's income and property taxes than they did 40 years ago.

"Corporations used to contribute about 18.5 percent of all income taxes paid in Oregon. And when you flash forward to today, you see that corporations are paying just 6.7 percent of all income taxes in Oregon,” policy analyst Tyler Mac Innis said. “ And that's a decline of nearly two-thirds."

The report comes as Oregonians prepare to vote this fall on an initiative that would increase taxes on large corporations. The state estimates the measure would raise about $3 billion per year. The Oregon Center for Public Policy supports the initiative, which is backed by a group funded by public employee unions.

A spokesperson for the coalition of business groups that has formed to defeat the measure called the initiative regressive. Campaign coordinator Rebecca Tweed said the tax hike would be passed on to Oregon consumers in the form of “higher prices for essentials they buy every day, including groceries, utilities, insurance, medical care and gasoline.”