Unions Threaten Ballot Campaign If Lawmakers Don't Hike Corporate Taxes

Jun 2, 2017
Originally published on June 2, 2017 2:20 pm

As Oregon lawmakers continue to debate whether to change the way the state taxes businesses, some public employee unions are threatening to take the question to voters.

It's part of a battle at the State Capitol over how to bridge a $1.4 billion budget gap.

Democratic Sen. Mark Hass closed a recent meeting of the legislature's committee on tax reform with a warning: If lawmakers and business groups can't reach a deal, the question could be decided elsewhere.

"What you're looking at here is potentially the last stop before the next ballot measure,” Has said.

A few hours after Hass made that statement, the state's largest teachers' union announced it would start gathering signatures for a pair of initiatives that would either hike corporate taxes, or make it easier for lawmakers to do so. Another public employee union kicked off a campaign to force companies to publicly disclose how much they pay in Oregon taxes.

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