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Taxes, Budget Up For Discussion As Business Leaders, Politicians Gather In Portland

<p>Oregon Gov. Kate Brown will join other top Oregon lawmakers and businesses people for an economic conference in Portland Monday, Dec. 5, 2016. The conference comes days after Brown unveiled a budget for 2017-2019 that has to make up for a $1.7 billion shortfall after Measure 97 failed in November.</p>

Don Ryan

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Oregon Gov. Kate Brown will join other top Oregon lawmakers and businesses people for an economic conference in Portland Monday, Dec. 5, 2016. The conference comes days after Brown unveiled a budget for 2017-2019 that has to make up for a $1.7 billion shortfall after Measure 97 failed in November.

Oregon business and political leaders are meeting in Portland Monday for an annual economic conference. The gathering is expected to focus heavily on tax and budget issues.

The Oregon Leadership Summit at the Oregon Convention Center is hosted by several key business groups and will feature speeches from Gov. Kate Brown and legislative leaders.

A white paper prepared for the event says business leaders are prepared to support additional taxes to help pay for education and other services.

However, business leaders are demanding reductions in the state’s public pension system. Brown and other Democratic leaders have rejected that request as unworkable.

The event comes on the heels of a bitter battle between business and labor over taxes. Business interests spent heavily to defeat a union-backed initiative that would have raised taxes on larger corporations.

Copyright 2016 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Jeff Mapes is a senior political reporter at Oregon Public Broadcasting. Previously, Jeff covered state and national politics for The Oregonian for nearly 32 years. He has covered numerous presidential, congressional, gubernatorial and ballot measure campaigns, as well as many sessions of the Legislature, stretching back to 1985. Jeff graduated from San Jose State University with a B.A. in journalism.