Oregon needs corporate disclosure

We live in an era of Big Data: By aggregating information about patients, doctors make better medical decisions; by compiling data about consumer preferences, businesses make strategic marketing decisions. Heck, by evaluating data about on-base-percentages, baseball General Managers are making better free agent decisions. From botox to baseball, data helps us make more informed and accurate decisions.

It’s frustrating, then, to see that Oregon’s legislators don’t have access to the data they need to make good tax decisions. Lawmakers are like the rest of the world – they make the best decisions when they have access to good information. Take Oregon’s taxes: Right now, every day in Salem during the legislative session, Legislators are asked to cut this tax, create this tax credit, open a new tax loophole, close this other tax loophole. Special interest lobbyists are asking for all sorts of favors with our tax dollars, yet legislators have no access to know whether or not public corporations are paying their fair share of taxes. Unlike at the federal level, public corporations in Oregon are not required to disclose how much they pay in taxes.

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2 Responses to “Oregon needs corporate disclosure”

  1. Rita Moore

    What are the bill numbers? I’d like to make specific asks of my legislators.

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There’s this thing about the kicker…

Oregon has taken a lot of hits in the last ten years. More than three thousand teachers have been laid off, and an additional thousand instructional assistants have been let go, too. Tuition and fees at Oregon’s public universities have increased 3 times faster than inflation since the 2005-2006 academic year, and tuition and fees for community college students have more than doubled. Currently, more than 1,600 families are on the waiting list for Employment Related Day Care. Though housing data is hard to compile, think about this: At the end of 2012, Home Forward (formerly the Housing Authority of Portland) accepted applications for one week, for Section 8 subsidized housing in Portland. They received 21,149 applications and held a lottery for the 3,000 they could add to the waiting list. More than two years later, they still have about 1,000 people on the list.

And yet, with all of these cuts – with teachers getting laid off and our students having the second largest class sizes in the nation, with college tuition becoming more out of reach, and with so many families seeming to never catch a break – with all of the growing evidence that Oregon desperately needs more revenue, Oregon will be giving back $350 million in taxes to satisfy our unique kicker law.

What?!

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One Response to “There’s this thing about the kicker…”

  1. Louise

    I agree with Vi8;teh&#n217es comment. Settlement between same friends within multiple groups, or settlement between the same friend in and outside a group should exist. The actual owing values need not have to be calculated twice.

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Close the Corporate Zero-Tax Loophole

Oregon has the lowest business taxes in the country. Compared to the amount of corporate profits earned in Oregon, corporations that do business here pay less in taxes than in any other state. One huge reason for this is that the majority of corporations are eligible to pay only minimum income taxes, which are very low. In fact, most corporations paying minimums have a tax bill of only $150 per year. Minimum taxes are higher for corporations that make more sales in the state, but they still average less than 50 cents for every $1,000 of sales. That’s a pittance when you consider the value of public investments that these corporations benefit from, like our roads and an educated workforce.

As low as these minimum taxes are, big corporations still avoid paying them. The Corporate Zero-Tax Loophole (you may have also heard this referred to as the Conway Loophole) allows corporations to avoid paying any taxes. If a corporation’s taxable income is below a certain level, they’re supposed to pay a minimum tax. However, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled that corporations can use tax credits against the minimum tax, in effect reducing tax bills below the minimum – even all the way down to zero.

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4 Responses to “Close the Corporate Zero-Tax Loophole”

  1. BrittQ

    I like reading your articles. It would be great if you could link to references so we could read more about the facts you shared. I would be interested to read more about this: “Compared to the amount of corporate profits earned in Oregon, corporations that do business here pay less in taxes than in any other state.” Not questioning the truthfulness just curious about the source.

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  2. Bruce Richards

    the FACTS are more than compelling…equality for all, and that includes taxes.

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