Yesterday we explored SB 593, which would give away more than $400 million in a new tax break for the richest Oregonians. Today, we’re looking at yet another bad idea bill.
Today’s Bad Idea is brought to you by the same trio of Senators highlighted yesterday.
Senate Bill 595 would replace Oregon’s tiered corporate minimum tax with a flat $150 minimum tax for all corporations, regardless of size. That means that a corporation with $500 million in Oregon sales would pay the same minimum tax as a small business with $500,000 in sales: Just $150.
This huge tax break would cost our schools and critical services around $90 million every two years, and would benefit fewer than 2% of the businesses that operate in Oregon. SB 595 also includes a provision that would cut the tax rates that profitable corporations pay, forcing another $100 million from Oregon’s priority services.
And for what? Oregon already has the lowest effective total business tax rate in the nation.
So the biggest and most profitable corporations doing business in Oregon get a nice tax break, and the rest of us would pick up the tab. The $190 million tax break for large corporations would necessitate even deeper cuts to schools and other state services that are already struggling to stay afloat.
Just days ago Medford School District Superintendent Phil Long shared with the Mail Tribune: “Depending on how education is funded within the state budget, the district might need to cut millions over the next biennium, or it might have an opportunity to build back some of the reductions made over the past several years… ‘We’re sort of at this tipping point one way or another.'”
Despite our state’s delicate balance, Sens. Thomsen, Olsen, and Knopp are ready to lead the charge to give away even more tax breaks to the big corporations at the expense of our schools.