Cascade Policy Institute is responding to the COVID-19 crisis by proposing policy solutions that Oregon state and local leaders can use right now to help Oregon workers, taxpayers, and businesses weather the health and economic crisis and come out strong.
In a series of op-eds, Cascade analysts are drawing attention to Oregon’s burdensome taxes and regulations. These analysts propose ways that sound policy solutions can mitigate the economic damage so that workers, business owners, and taxpayers can get the state back on track when Oregon reopens for business.
Cascade has strongly opposed tax hikes proposed in 2019 and 2020 by the Portland area’s regional government, Metro. They were bad policies before, and they’re terrible now.
Last November, Metro raised property taxes by $475 million for a parks and nature program. Despite the drastic economic about-face suffered by Oregon in March, Metro proceeded with placing Measure 26-210 on the May ballot, seeking another $2.5 billion in new taxes for housing services. In November, Metro will have yet a third ballot measure, asking for an additional $3.8 billion to expand light rail. That’s nearly $6.8 billion in new taxes for Metro in one year alone.
Cascade’s Vice President of Research, Dr. Eric Fruits, has been explaining in state and local media outlets how tax relief, not tax increases, can slow the spread of COVID-19 financial panic.
Oregon business owners and workers have been severely impacted by the shutdown of much of the economy. Oregon should lift tax and regulatory burdens that make it harder for people to keep their businesses strong, to find new employment, or to get a great education—as soon as possible.