TUALATIN — Unified Business Oregon released a statement last week on the unprecedented revenue forecast presented by the state’s economists to the Legislature. UBO Executive Director Lou Ogden said the unexpected growth of the budget and the resulting $1.6 billion kicker has everything to do with the hard work of Oregon’s businesses and the workers they employ, in spite of the fact the Legislature continues to try to find more ways to raise taxes to cover the growing debt of PERS and sharp increases in public employee pay raises.
Ogden said those government costs are out of step with any increases in compensation most small business owners and their employees can expect to see next year.
“The revenue forecast news is fantastic and proves (that) business owners are persisting and the economy is still thriving,” Ogden stated. “But that won’t be the case when HB 3427 and HB 2164, the gross receipts tax, goes into full effect in January. For some of the 40,000 Oregon businesses that will be impacted by the gross receipts tax, and for those who file their business income taxes on their personal tax returns, the historic kicker tax rebate they get next year might be the last pay raise they see in their businesses for a long time to come.”
Ogden noted that in a May 2019 poll conducted by UBO to inform the Legislature of voter sentiment on the constitutional kicker law, the majority of Oregonians strongly support the rebate going directly back to taxpayers as intended.
According to Ogden, “The polling we’ve done demonstrates that voters don’t trust the Legislature with their money.”
Ogden said that if there are any efforts to divert the kicker in the short session, UBO would oppose the bill.
With the kicker set to trigger, Ogden said some UBO members intend to use their rebate to prepare to weather the storm that will be caused by the new gross sales tax increases.
“The new gross receipts tax disallows tax deductions on 65% of the labor and materials costs associated with earning over $1 million in sales. I don’t think you’ll see businesses subject to that new tax increase out spending their kicker in the economy,” he said. “Sadly, they’re getting ready to give it back to the Legislature next year in the form of increased business taxes.”
Unified Business Oregon, based in Tualatin, serves its members by being an advocate on public policy matters that create
economic, operational, and taxation concerns for businesses in Oregon. According to the organization’s website, UBO serves as a unified voice across industry sectors throughout each community in Oregon. UBO members promote accountability for policy decisions that hurt business ownership and employment in Oregon.
Membership in Unified Business Oregon is open to registered businesses operating in the state. To enquire about membership and to receive UBO’s newsletter, fill out the form at https://unifiedoregon.com.