Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Incentives for business growth saved by both political parties.

March 7th was a big day at the Oregon Capitol, it was the day that businesses should feel the tide turning and there was a brighter future ahead. I am not trying to sound overly dramatic but it was a big day in my mind.

If you followed the news there was a mistake found in the law which prevented Oregon businesses from an accelerated depreciation schedule for Oregon income tax purposes. This was a mistake that the department of revenue discovered, so business lost a tax incentivize to invest in new equipment and the legislative body gained $100 million in revenue with the discovery. The House Republicans quickly attached an amendment to an existing bill and sent it to the House floor in the form of a “minority report”.

It was setting up to be a straight partisan fight, the Republicans want to keep the incentives to grow the economy and the democrats wanted to include the money for budget discussions. In the end, two Democrats voted with the Republicans to replace the original bill with the minority report to keep the incentives for business growth.

This set off changes that should establish more trust in the business community. Next came a vote to pass the bill to the Senate, 11 Democrats then voted with the Republicans. Later that day the Senate President and the Governor sent out statements that they would support the business growth incentives.

Much thanks to the Republicans for forcing the issue to the floor for the discussion and a big thanks to the two Democrats Mike Schaufler and Jeff Barker who “broke ranks” so to speak and got the ball rolling. Once those two made the stand, Democrats in all branches joined in and returned to tax code to where everyone thought it was at the beginning of the tax year.

Bill Perry

Vice President of Government Affairs

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