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Oregon House Passes 'Nike Bill,' Sends To Senate

Jessica Paterson

SALEM, OR. - The Oregon House has passed a bill designed to give sports apparel maker Nike special tax status. Governor John Kitzhaber called the legislature into Special Session in order to act quickly to ensure the Beaverton-based company didn't locate a major expansion in another state.

The measure allows the governor to guarantee that the state won't change the way Nike's corporate income taxes are calculated. In exchange, the company agrees to spend at least $150 million on its expansion, and create at least 150 jobs.

But the measure didn’t pass the House without some opposition.

The basic criticisms were that lawmakers felt as though they didn't have enough time to really look over the details of this proposal. The Special Session was only called on Monday. And so lawmakers said 'okay, we'll go along with this proposal but we're going to put on a sunset clause in it,'

That means that by the end of next year this bill will expire, and that will give lawmakers the chance to look over the policy and decide whether they want to extend it for the long term.

The bill to give Nike a tax freeze guarantee is now being taken up in the Oregon Senate. Governor John Kitzhaber has said he'll sign the measure as soon as possible.