Column: Tax burdens on the rise for Oregon businesses

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For several years, the discussion at Oregon’s capitol has focused on how to find funding for education, public services, roadways and the growing PERS and Medicaid gaps. As legislators and the governor have scrambled to resource these growing needs, they have looked to business to fill the gap. There are challenges with this approach, as the proportion of tax burden rises for businesses while COVID and the recession are eating at revenues.Most businesses in Oregon, and certainly in Central Oregon, are small. Bend is consistently rated as a top city for small businesses in a variety of national studies and media outlets. Big business corporations (hundreds or thousands of employees) make up a small fraction of our economic ecosystem. In fact, most businesses in our region are incorporated or limited liability status and have fewer than 50 employees. As the state raises business tax to help fill funding gaps, our region’s small businesses carry most of the burden.Oregon Business & Industry (OBI) recently chartered a study on the state and local business tax burden. It was conducted by Ernst & Young LLP and the State Tax Research Institute to look at the overall burden Oregon businesses are carrying as …

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