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The following statement was issued by Anthony Smith, Oregon state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, following yesterday afternoon’s 18-to-11 State Senate passage of House Bill 3427, creating a new “corporate” activities tax. The measure is expected to be signed by Gov. Kate Brown.
“No one who runs a business and has to meet a payroll is fooled by this bill. The so-called Corporate Activities Tax passed yesterday is a gross receipts tax, which is a hidden sales tax in disguise. It won’t show up on a customer’s receipt, but they will pay it when a product is taxed at each stage of the supply chain.
“Most irritatingly, a gross receipts tax is paid by businesses whether they make a profit or not. The state gets paid first, and without regard to start-up costs or profit margins.
“HB 3427 has no safeguards in place to ensure that the $1 million Oregon sales threshold won’t be lowered or eliminated in future years — or that groceries and other exempt products won’t be added back into taxable sales by future Legislatures, all on a simple majority vote.
“An audaciously bad piece of public policy was passed yesterday — audacious for its cavalier disregard for the will of the voters who rejected a gross receipts tax when Measure 97 failed in 2016.
“We’ll be ‘fixing’ the unintended consequences of this bill for years to come. That work will probably start before the governor even signs it.”