Small Business Groups Support Measure to Protect Oregonians from Tax and Fee Increases

Support is building across Oregon’s small business community for the “A Tax is a Tax” ballot measure initiative to reign in the legislature’s efforts to skirt the requirement of a three-fifths vote to raise taxes and fees.


The A Tax is A Tax Coalition supporting the measure announced today that over a dozen small business groups have joined their effort.  Supporters range from realtors and family farmers to construction contractors and local gas station owners.  The initiative clarifies that tax and fee increases as well as measures that alter the ability of Oregonians to qualify for exemptions, credits, or deductions will require a three-fifths super majority approval by the legislature.

Organizations supporting the initiative include:

  • Oregonians for Food and Shelter

  • Oregon Association of REALTORS®

  • Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association

  • Associated General Contractors

  • Associated Oregon Loggers

  • Oregon Auto Dealers Association

  • Oregon Bankers Association

  • Oregon Beer and Wine Distributors Association

  • Oregon Farm Bureau Federation

  • Oregon Food PAC

  • Oregon Forest & Industries Council

  • Oregon Home Builders Association

  • Oregon Truck PAC


The Oregon legislature recently made numerous attempts to sidestep Oregon’s constitutional requirement for a legislative three-fifths majority vote on bills for raising revenue.  Several bills were proposed in 2017 that would have reduced the home mortgage interest deduction, increased taxes on small business employers, and eliminated the ability to deduct property tax payments, each proposing to sidestep the three-fifths legislative vote requirement.

“The legislature’s attacks on the constitutional requirement for a three-fifth’s vote to raise taxes were the last straw for our members,” says John Davis, coalition spokesman.

“The legislature’s attacks on the constitutional requirement for a three-fifth’s vote to raise taxes were the last straw for our members,” says John Davis, coalition spokesman.  “Ending the mortgage interest and property tax deductions for average Oregonians, raising taxes on small business employers, and further increasing taxes and fees will make owning a home, a business, and having a family more expensive and hurt the people who can least afford it.  Requiring a three-fifths vote on all tax and fee increases will protect Oregonians.”


This week, the Oregon Attorney General released a certified ballot title for the measure. Absent an appeal to the Oregon Supreme Court, the issue will be presented to Oregon voters as:

  • Amends Constitution: Expands (beyond taxes) application of requirement that three-fifths legislative majority approve bills raising revenue.
  • Result of “Yes” Vote: “Yes” vote expands “bills for raising revenue,” which require three-fifths legislative majority, to include (beyond taxes) fees and changes to tax exemptions, deductions, credits. 
  • Result of “No” Vote: “No” vote retains current law that bills for raising revenue, which require three-fifths legislative majority, are limited to bills that levy/increase taxes.
  • Oregon voters approved an amendment to the Oregon Constitution in 1996 requiring a three-fifths vote in each house of the legislature on legislation that raises state revenue.


About the Coalition

The A Tax is A Tax Coalition is comprised of Oregon small businesses and grassroots groups – many of whom have seen their livelihoods put at risk by the Oregon legislature’s attempts to subvert the voter-enacted requirement for a three-fifths majority to increase taxes. 




John C. Davis

Spokesperson – A Tax Is A Tax Coalition

Mobile/Text: (503) 454-6493

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