25 Mar 2010, 3:02pm
by admin

Idaho, Chicago try to woo Oregon business away over taxes

By Jeff Manning, The Oregonian, March 23, 2010, [here]

The young CEO runs a successful technology company southwest of Portland employing hundreds and boasting a bright future. But if the executive has his way, he’ll be moving the company out of Oregon this year or next.

The passage of tax Measures 66 and 67 has convinced him a better, more profitable future lies elsewhere.

“I’m happy to pay taxes,” said the executive, who asked that neither he nor his business be identified. “But the Oregon system is broken, and I know there are a lot of other businesspeople who feel like I do, that it doesn’t make sense to stay.”

Oregonians voted in January to extract an additional $733 million a year in new taxes from business and high-earning individuals. The election results, and the bruising campaign that preceded them, have some influential voices in Oregon’s business class simmering with discontent.

In response, states including Idaho, Montana and Ohio are on the recruiting offensive, taking dead aim at Oregon businesses. They could well find a receptive audience. Conservatives and moderates alike bemoan the message sent by the tax hikes.

“Oregon’s economy is already on the wrong side of the tracks,” said Roy Tucker, managing partner of the Perkins Coie law firm in Portland. “The last thing we need is one more reason for entrepreneurs to decide not to do business here.”

Measures 66 and 67 “established battle lines that did not need to be drawn,” added Portland venture investor David Chen. “The damage is not monetary in terms of the increased taxes. The far greater damage is in how it disenfranchised business.” … [more]



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