“Brighter Oregon” offers vague notions, no plan

After months of public discussion in our state about how to balance the state budget and create a more sustainable tax structure for the future, Oregon’s corporations stepped up to the plate today and said, “Not us.”

In their presentation to the Oregon Joint Tax Reform Committee today, a representative from the Oregon Business Plan continued to delay, dodge and divert in their presentation to the Oregon Joint Tax Reform Committee today. Instead of proposing real tax reform to fund education, healthcare, public safety and other public services, they called on lawmakers to protect their low tax rate and cut public employee benefits.

Here are statements from members of the Keep Oregon’s Promise Coalition:

“Firefighters and other first responders pay their fair share of taxes and work hard for their benefits,” said Bob Livingston, President of Oregon State Firefighters Council. “The presentation today shows that Oregon’s corporate leaders want to continue to benefit from the services we provide but refuse to pay for them. Meanwhile, they continue to scapegoat the public workforce by calling for deep cuts to our retirement and health benefits.”

“The corporate leaders who profit from public services continue to protect their bottom line but call on nurses and other public employees to sacrifice,” said Susan E. King MS, RN, CEN, FAAN, Executive Director, Oregon Nurses Association.

“I am not sure how these corporate executives can face students, parents, and educators in their communities after today’s presentation, said Hanna Vaandering, President, Oregon Education Association. “Instead of bringing forward a plan of how they are going to address Oregon’s low corporate taxes, they said they need more time. There has been plenty of time for talk, now is the time for action.”