This November, Oregonians will face a clear choice: Vote "YES" for Measure 97 or endure more than a billion dollars in cuts to schools and other key public services.
An analysis published today by state budget officials shows that Oregon faces a budget shortfall of $1.35 billion in the upcoming budget period. That is a substantial gap, amounting to about 6 percent of the state budget.
It is difficult to see how the 2017 Oregon legislature could muster the political will to close enough tax loopholes or raise taxes to fill the billion dollar-plus gap.
Oregonians will avoid the pain of budget cuts if voters approve Measure 97 on the November ballot. Measure 97 would establish a 2.5 percent tax on the Oregon sales of C-corporations that exceed $25 million. According to Oregon's Legislative Revenue Office, the measure would raise more than $6 billion each budget period, mainly from large, multi-state corporations headquartered outside Oregon.
The decision whether to endure more than a billion dollars in budget cuts or, instead, strengthen schools and other key public services is in the hands of Oregon voters.