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Oregon House Democrats Roll Out Business Tax Proposal

File photo of the Oregon House Chambers at the state Capitol in Salem.
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File photo of the Oregon House Chambers at the state Capitol in Salem.

Oregon House Democrats pitched a plan to overhaul the way the state taxes businesses Thursday. The proposal is part of an effort to bridge a $1.6 billion shortfall in the upcoming budget.

Under the proposal, most Oregon businesses would pay a flat tax of $250 per year. Those with Oregon sales that top $5 million a year would pay a 0.95 percent tax on sales.

The new tax would replace the existing corporate income tax, which is based on a company's profitability.

Nancy Nathanson is the chief budget writer for House Democrats. She said the goal is to do more than simply patch up the short-term spending plan.

"Instead of ending up with something mediocre, is there something new we can do and make a significant new investment in education that will actually move the dial,” she said.

Nathanson said the proposal would raise $2.1 billion for the upcoming budget cycle. Its fate is unclear, as it would need some Republican support to be approved.

Copyright 2017 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman covers the Oregon state capitol for JPR as part of the Northwest News Network, a group of 12 Northwest public radio organizations which collaborate on regional news coverage. Chris graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He began his career producing arts features for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana and has been a reporter/announcer for NPR station WNIJ in DeKalb, Illinois. Chris has also reported from overseas, filing stories from Iraq, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe and Uganda.
Chris Lehman
Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.