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Massive Tax Proposal Fails in statewide ballot

Thursday, November 10, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Elizabeth Peters
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In November at the ballot box, Oregonians soundly rejected Ballot Measure 97, the $6 billion public employee union backed corporate gross receipts tax that would have been the largest tax increase in Oregon history.


Industry groups across the state came together to fight the onerous proposal, and SEDCOR is no exception. Back in July, the SEDCOR board of directors had taken the extraordinary step of voting unanimously to officially oppose Measure 97, and SEDCOR joined economic development groups across Oregon in committing to the defeat of this damaging and costly measure that would have added $600 to every Oregon household’s tax bill.


Supporting the statewide campaign effort, SEDCOR encouraged members to join the opposition coalition and even hosted a special presentation on Measure 97 to hear from experts and discuss how the proposal to increase taxes on the sales of products and services sold in Oregon could impact the region’s leaders, families and businesses.


In the meantime, SEDCOR staff heard from a number of companies – large and small, from various industries – about the damage this unprecedented bill would have had on local businesses and communities within Marion, Polk and Yamhill Counties.


During September and October, SEDCOR engaged in a number of activities to support the effort to defeat Measure 97. These included letters to business members with tools for talking about the issue; consistent messaging, videos, and news items on social media; news stories on the web site and newsletter; targeted emails; and connecting local media with subject matter experts on taxes and the economy.


As ballots were dropping across the state, Oregon was in the spotlight among tax experts and businesses. The nation's leading independent tax policy research organization listed Measure 97 on its "Top State Tax Ballot Initiatives to Watch in 2016," referring to the bill as "economically destructive." The non-partisan Tax Foundation, based in Washington DC, noted that "Oregon's tax Is projected to bring in $6 billion dollars over the biennium budget, swelling government revenues by 25 percent."


In the end, Oregon Ballot Measure 97 overwhelmingly failed at 59-40 percent, an unprecedented victory for the business community that came together to oppose the measure. 


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