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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.

Protestors Urge Oregon Lawmakers To Reject Nike Bill

Chris Lehman

SALEM, Ore. – Protesters outside the Oregon capitol building Friday are urging lawmakers to reject a bill to give Nike special tax status. Lawmakers are meeting in Special Session to consider the measure. It would allow the governor to freeze the way Oregon calculates the shoe giant’s corporate income taxes. In exchange, the Beaverton-based company would promise to invest at least $150 million and expand by at least 500 jobs in Oregon. Protester Peter Bergel says Nike and other large companies don't need any special deals.

"I don't know why we need to be giving these people tax breaks? Do I get a tax break? Because I could use one. Come on," Bergel says.

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber said the Special Session was needed because Nike was being courted by other states for the expansion. Some lawmakers are proposing to shorten the length of the tax freeze guarantee, or open the offer up to smaller companies.
Oregon House Bill 4200