Less than 24 hours before the release of the state’s latest revenue forecast, Gov. Kitzhaber held a press conference, in which he expressed support for higher taxes on Oregon business.
This comes after a bad month for many big businesses throughout the state.
Integra is moving its corporate headquarters from Portland to Vancouver, Wash. The last lumber mill in Josephine County has closed down. Greenbrier is laying off 200 workers at its Gunderson LLC plant in Northwest Portland. SoloPower announced the suspension of its Portland operations. Xerox is laying off 300 workers in Coos Bay and North Bend. Kinder Morgan pulled the plug on plans for a proposed coal terminal in Columbia County, and CenturyLink just announced the closure of its Hood River call center.
These are just the big businesses that are struggling, and does not include all the small businesses throughout Oregon that are also having a hard time right now.
Calling for higher taxes on businesses sends the wrong signal to job creators at a time when Oregonians need jobs more than ever.
The Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) reforms that the governor has signed are a good first step. But they don’t solve the problem.
I’ve been saying for years that our state government needs to get its spending in line before asking anyone for more taxes. PERS costs affect every school district, city and county in the state. We need to fix those issues immediately, instead of continuing to kick that can down the road.