Oregon tax proposal: Tax more businesses, lower income tax

Oregon lawmakers next week will unveil a corporate tax overhaul akin to Measure 97

The Oregon Capitol in Salem, Feb. 2, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)
The Oregon Capitol in Salem, Feb. 2, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon lawmakers next week will unveil a corporate tax overhaul akin to Measure 97 — the multi-billion-dollar tax hike proposal on big business that voters rejected in November — that will include new levies for almost all businesses and a scaled-back tax burden on low-income households.

With hiring freezes and other cost-cutting proposals now on the table to address the upcoming $1.6 billion budget shortfall, lawmakers are introducing the plan as a way to pump more revenue into state coffers. The proposal would replace Oregon’s corporate income tax with a tax on businesses’ gross receipts, or revenues from business-to-business transactions, beginning in 2018.

But what’s different about this plan is that it includes strategies to offset the “impact of higher consumer prices” by reducing low-wage Oregonians’ personal income tax rates, among the nation’s highest and the state’s largest source of revenue, according to a draft overview of the plan obtained by the Associated Press.