Bend Chamber board opposes $6 billion tax ballot measure

The board of the Bend Chamber of Commerce voted unanimously June 21st to issue a statement confirming its opposition to Initiative Petition 28 (IP28), a proposal for a $6 billion tax increase per biennium that will be on the November ballot, the largest in the history of the state of Oregon.

“The Bend Chamber board expressed its concern that businesses would be forced to pay the tax regardless of whether they make a large or small profit, or no profit at all.” said Bend Chamber Board Director Jeff Robberson. “The board is worried that increased costs to our small businesses under this huge new tax would potentially force hundreds of local businesses to raise prices, cut jobs or both. This is a tax on gross receipts not net profits.”

A recent study by the state’s independent Legislative Revenue Office (LRO) concluded about two thirds of this tax on sales would end up being paid by Oregon consumers through higher prices on nearly everything we buy – including gasoline, utilities, clothing, medicine, insurance and even food – costing the average Oregon household more than $600 every year.

The LRO report also estimated that passage of IP28 would reduce private sector employment by more than 38,000 jobs and concluded that the burden of higher prices for consumer essentials would fall most heavily on low- and middle-income families, and small businesses.

“The burden of this unprecedented tax increase to Oregonians and our small businesses is too great—it would have a staggering impact on our local economies and there is no accountability to taxpayers for how these tax dollars would be spent,” Robberson said. “We have a responsibility as a board to share our concerns with the Bend community – and we are concerned about IP28.”

The Bend Chamber joined the Defeat The Tax On Oregon Sales coalition in November 2015 (formerly called Grow Oregon Now), the statewide campaign formed in opposition to IP 28.  Find out more information about the coalition at DefeatTheTaxOnOregonSales.com/.

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