June 15, 2017
The Honorable Mark Hass
The Honorable Phil Barnhart
Co-chairs, Joint Committee on Tax Reform
900 Court Street, NE
Salem, OR 97310
Re: House Bill 2830-3
Dear Co-Chair Hass and Co-Chair Barnhart,
The Bend Chamber of Commerce believes good decisions come through an open process of compromise and collaboration. Our organization represents over 1250 members with nearly 25,000 employees of diverse industry and size.
We support a bi-partisan, balanced negotiation of the budget that simultaneously includes both cost containment and the need for new revenue to fund schools and other essential programs. We applaud Governor Brown’s efforts to reach out to our business community and encourage the continuation of stakeholder involvement, however we would like to ensure our position is clear.
We do not support HB 2830-3. We believe it will disproportionately impact smaller business owners with lower profit margins –their very people who are struggling to get by. These businesses are at the heart of chambers of commerce and every Main Street in Oregon. We do NOT support a corporate gross receipts tax at this time, but remain open to supporting other methods of revenue generation.
We appreciate that there are two bills (SB 1067 and SB 1068) proposing cost containment measures. While these bills represent a step in the right direction, the general fund savings they would generate do not sufficiently address the cost curve in these areas that are projected to consume larger portions of the state’s general fund revenues and diverting money from critical services.
The Bend Chamber recognizes the difficulty of making long-term decisions on cost containment, particularly due to how deeply they affect public employees and those relying on Medicaid, but real cost containment must take place. We also understand the need to generate new revenue in order to stabilize our state’s future. Our chamber aggressively supported the largest school bond measure in the Bend-La Pine district, and we certainly understand how critical our schools are to our children and the state’s economic future.We appreciate the time and energy you have given to address such challenging issues this year. These decisions are extremely difficult and we thank you for your service. We look forward to being engaged in discussions about the entirety of Oregon’s tax system for the long-term.
We thank you for your service to our state.
Bend Chamber of Commerce