Are Oregon’s Business Taxes Competitive? PDF Print E-mail

Published on-line by The Oregon Prosperity Project

High unemployment taxes dampen Oregon’s competiveness and could hurt job growth.

For months, we’ve been thinking of doing a piece on taxes that are paid by Oregon business.

We’ve been especially interested in this topic since there seems to be a sentiment in Oregon that business doesn’t pay its “fair share” of taxes.  Proponents of Measure 67, the ballot measure that increased taxes on Oregon companies in 2010, certainly used this argument to great effect.

Business taxes are an important factor in business location because they are a significant cost of doing business.  As a result, decisions on where to locate or grow a business, and all the jobs that come with it, are influenced by assessments of relative tax burdens across multiple states.

If we lived in a vacuum, then taxes wouldn’t matter.  But we don’t.  Here in Oregon, we are competing against 49 other states that want business and job creation as much as we do.

We were spurred to action this week by the recently-released groundbreaking report by The Tax Foundation, called “Location Matters,” which illustrates clearly that, on average, Oregon companies pay more in taxes than their counterparts in other states.

In fact, Oregon’s total business tax burdens make Oregon uncompetitive as a place to locate and grow business and high-wage jobs for certain industries.