It’s hard not to miss some of the big tax changes in the plans of Oregon legislators for residents and businesses.
There are plans for a tax on carbon. There are plans for some sort of a big new tax on business. And there are plans to swipe the kicker tax rebates from Oregonians.
But they don’t stop there, especially for businesses. The 2019 legislative session may well go down as the year of the business taxes.
There are many proposed changes in how property taxes are assessed for businesses. The biggest is perhaps that they would be taxed at real market value, instead of assessed value. That could raise property taxes for some businesses by 40 percent in Deschutes County.
Oregonians might be storming the Legislature if that happened to the property taxes on their homes. But it’s somehow OK to do it to the businesses that people work for?
You may be familiar with the 3 percent discount that people can get for being quick about paying their property taxes. There is a bill to get rid of that for business.
House Bill 2165 changes the minimum tax for some Oregon corporations from $100,000 to 0.1 percent of Oregon sales. For big corporations, that could be major increase in taxes.
The minimum tax for an S-Corp, which is what many small businesses are, could also go up from $150 to $1,000. That could wipe out the profits of a tiny side business.
Just who are the legislators proposing all these new taxes on business? They don’t want you to know. There is not a legislator’s name on one of these bills. They are hiding who is responsible, preventing Oregonians from knowing who deserves the credit or the blame.
Squeezing more dollars from business matters to these legislators. Accountability to Oregonians for their actions? Not at all.