More taxes. That’s the left’s answer for everything. Usually, they try to spread out the tax increases so you won’t notice how the total is escalating. But this year, they’re going whole hog.
On Tuesday, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales proposed an $8.7 million increase in the Business License Fee. Now 2.2 percent of a business’ net profit, the fee would increase to 2.5 percent for 25,200 Portland businesses.
“We need to be responsible leaders by providing enough revenue to deliver basic City services and invest in making lasting progress on our challenges,” Hales said. “A slightly larger fee on business’ profits will have a far-reaching, positive impact on the city as a whole.”
Meanwhile, Our Oregon, a coalition of unions and progressive groups, is promoting Initiative Petition 28 for the November 2016 ballot.
The measure would raise the corporate minimum tax on Oregon sales of more than $25 million a year from the current minimum of $50,000 to $30,001 plus 2.5 percent of the excess over $25 million. The tax would be based solely on sales, not profit.
The Legislative Revenue Office estimates the corporate tax measure would raise $5.3 billion during the 2017-2019 biennium. Corporate taxes during that biennium under the current system are projected to reach about $1.1 billion.
In other words, the measure would increase corporate tax collections per biennium by a whopping 400 percent in one fell swoop.
“If that passes, we’ll have a lot of money to pay for stuff,” said Rep. Mitch Greenlick (D-Portland).
All this would be on top of Portland’s much-maligned Arts Tax, which a large swath of the city’s liberal population isn’t paying, and an additional 10 cents a gallon gas tax in Portland, the brainchild of Portland Commissioner Steve Novick, that would generate $64 million over the next four years if voters approve it on May 17.
Yesterday, May 3, an Oregon judge approved ballot language for another tax, a payroll tax that would support Portland State University. Supporters will now begin collecting signatures to get the tax on the ballot in November. The proposed one-tenth of 1 percent payroll tax on wages paid by Portland-area businesses would generate about $40 million annually for PSU.
And if all these new taxes aren’t enough, the increases in the minimum wage that the Democrats in the state Legislature just pushed through will start in July.
Meanwhile, Gov. Brown is meeting in Portland today with lawmakers and business executives to start the process of crafting a multi-billion dollar funding package for state roads. The package would likely involve higher gas taxes and vehicle registration and driver license fees.
Hold on to your wallets, folks.