Kotek earmarks $1.4B for education from tax hike

Final proposal could end up before voters in a special election this fall

Oregion House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland, left, is joined by Rep. Mike McLane, R-Powell Butte, during a legislative forum at the Capitol in Salem, Ore., Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) – Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek introduced an unexpected proposal Thursday she says fills in the holes of a corporate tax overhaul plan that other lawmakers rolled out two days prior as a $1.6 billion budget shortfall looms.

Both proposals could boost revenue by about $3 billion through a new business tax that’s similar to Measure 97, which voters rejected in November, but they’d apply to more businesses and at smaller tax rates.

Unlike the first plan, Kotek’s proposal would earmark half of that money for education. She’d also fully fund three other November ballot measures that voters approved for education, veterans and outdoor recreation programs. Her plan also includes $650 million in spending cuts.

The final proposal could end up before voters in a special election this fall.