Giving Away Tax Breaks for Nothing

Tell your network:

Tell your network: has announced that they’re moving to Oregon to set up a new major operation center, bringing hundreds or thousands of jobs to the state. The company chose Oregon over their second choice—Salt Lake City—because, in short, Oregon is a great place to live and run a business. From the Oregonian:

The state prepared an incentive package potentially worth millions to the company, but economic development officials say that Portland was simply a more attractive place to recruit the young techies that Salesforce hopes to hire.

"That’s where Salt Lake City fell flat, quite honestly," said Colin Sears, vice president of business development for the economic development group Greater Portland Inc. "This is a vibrant, better place to be if you’re young and single."

So, the reason they chose Oregon had nothing to do with the big tax breaks that the state is preparing to give them. And yet? The tax breaks could end up costing the state millions of dollars. is set to take advantage of a cash grant from the state equal to two years’ worth of the state income taxes paid by their employees. That’s a substantial amount of money to be handing out, especially at a time when we’re laying off teachers and closing schools.

Don’t get us wrong. We’re glad another business is relocating here. In fact, we’ve celebrated the business influx with its own website.

What we’re wondering is: are we giving away precious dollars, paying corporations to do what they were going to do anyway?

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