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Archive for December 17th, 2012

HB4200A-PhotoIt was a very rare event indeed last week.

A single corporate employer caused the Governor to require the state’s 90 Legislators to leave their cozy homes to attend a Special Legislative Session, all for the purpose of making a 30 year, no-new-taxes pledge on non-Oregon income.

Yes, it was a special day for Nike, Inc.

First off, a big shout out to the Nike, Inc. team for agreeing to invest in Oregon at least $150 million in new money and hiring an additional 500 Oregon workers over the next 5-years.  Somewhere on a Facebook page is a photo of champagne corks popping as the Nike negotiators celebrated.  Although, it’s shameful that the same pledge of no-new-taxes for the next 30 years was not extended to all Oregon corporations willing to expand in Oregon and hire more Oregon workers.

The Special Session referenced was about one item:  HB 4200A — “The Nike Bill.”

HB 4200A passed the House by a vote of 50 to 5, and the Senate, 22 to 6.  There was both support and opposition to the bill on both sides of the aisle.  The legislative members who voted against it thought it appeared to them to be a “corporate give-away”.   (I might be off-base, but isn’t it a little disingenuous for liberals who campaigned only weeks ago on the evils of big corporations to be rushing a bill through in a Special Session that pledges to protect one of Oregon’s largest corporations from any corporate tax increase on the main source of its income for the next 30-years?)

Speaking of the Occupy Portland movement… where did they go?

At anyrate, the Governor and a majority of the Legislators who passed HB 4200A acknowledged and reinforced a behavior that if successful Oregon businesses do not get assurances that their taxes will not be raised, they will threaten to move future job-creating investments to states that offer more favorable tax policies.

Conclusion?  Head west Harley-Davidson.  Oregon is nurturing its big businesses and making deals because profitable companies need not fret about their tax burdens.

Just imagine the job growth if every Oregon business employer could benefit from such a pledge.

Photo courtesy of Oregon State Legislature.

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