Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Oregon rural lawmakers push for small rural businesses to get same tax treatment as Nike

Gov. John Kitzhaber
Oregon lawmakers are pushing for a measure that would give small rural businesses similar tax structures to the ones afforded state power Nike, Lauren Dake reports for The Bulletin in Bend. Last year Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber "called lawmakers back to the Capitol for a one-day special session to approve a deal assuring Nike its corporate income-tax structure won’t change for 30 years." The law cements a key element in the tax code, the "single sales factor," which affects companies that have large amounts of sales outside the state. "As long as Nike creates 500 new jobs and invests $150 million in the state, its corporate taxes will continue to be based only on sales that happen within Oregon for the next three decades." Intel recently got a similar deal.

Rural lawmakers want small businesses in their regions to get the same treatment, Dake writes. Rep. Greg Smith (R-Heppner) told Dake, "One or two districts in the state of Oregon got special consideration while other parts of the state that could have benefited from like legislation were excluded. You still have legislators saying, ‘why not us? why not our small businesses?’”

Rep. Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte), told Dake, “The plight of rural Oregon has not gone unnoticed … and while we have momentum and interest from those in the Portland businesses (groups) we need to strike." McLane explained how he felt the move could be changed to fit small rural businesses: “Instead of $150 million and 500 jobs, how about $5 million and 50 jobs. We would scale it back but still create incentives for people to locate and expand.” (Read more)

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