Oregon’s tax system is not ant-business. So says the research from The Tax Foundation, a non partisan tax research group based in Washington DC.
The 2014 business climate tax report by the Tax Foundation was published online this week. In 2013 the Tax Foundation rated Oregon 13th best for business climate. However, the 2014 ratings didn’t take into account the most recent special session tax changes. Those increased some taxes on businesses, and reduced them on others.
In addition, an article on Washington County Independents found that Oregon’s State general and lottery fund budget – which is the discretionary spending that the Legislature has control over – has held steady for the last 14 years, after accounting for inflation and population growth.
Oregon is consistently ranked as one of the most progressive tax structures in the nation.
Taking these three facts into account. Good business tax climate. Stable state discretionary spending, and a progressive tax structure, it appears Oregon is a good place to live and do business. In fact, Oregon had the third highest economic growth rate in 2012 at 10.2%. Lagging only the energy boom states of North Dakota and Texas.
So, while tax restructuring that evens out revenue should be explored. And we should focus on tax expenditures and unnecessary subsidies to publicly traded corporations. Keep in mind that our tax and spending in Oregon is more equally distributed than other states and still delivers a positive business climate that can produce solid economic growth. Lets keep those features as we move towards changes that eliminate the bi-polar nature of the system.