Measure 97

Argument in Opposition

Family Owned Vineyard Opposes Measure 97

Our company is greatly troubled by Measure 97. Not because we have more than $25 million in sales that would be taxed at the highest rate in nation. We don’t. In fact, we’ll likely never reach that level and never pay Measure 97’s enormous tax directly.

Del Rio Vineyards is a multi-generational, family owned business that is a
part of a long agricultural history dating back 150 years. We’re proud our wines are enjoyed all over the world and we’re doing our part to maintain and improve Oregon’s reputation as an outstanding wine-producing state.

While Del Rio wouldn’t be directly subject to Measure 97 taxes, our suppliers, distributors and retailers most certainly would. Our concern is that those taxes would end up being paid by consumers in the form of higher prices.

Unlike a regular sales tax with exemptions for food and basic necessities, there are no exemptions in Measure 97’s hidden sales tax. Oregon voters have rejected sales taxes nine times. Now Measure 97 sponsors are trying sneak through a sales tax Oregonians won’t see on their receipts. A former state economist said the measure is “like a sales tax on steroids.” (East Oregonian, 3/18/16)

Economists in Oregon’s Legislative Revenue Office called the tax “regressive” because Oregon’s lower-income families and working poor will carry the heaviest burden of higher prices caused by Measure 97. In fact, families making less than $21,000 a year are hurt most by higher prices, especially when compared to higher earners. This is simply unfair.

Backers claim the $6 billion from Measure 97 will all come from big, out-of-state corporations. Don’t let them fool you. Measure 97 is a hidden sales tax. It’s about adding a tax on sales that impacts all small businesses and takes more money out of the pockets of every Oregon family.

Learn more at FactsAbout97.com and

please join us in voting NO on Measure 97.

Rob and Jolee Wallace

(This information furnished by Rob Wallace, Owner, Del Rio Vineyards.)


Argument in Opposition

We're 49% bigger, more expensive

Oregon – $8,157
U.S. State Average – $5,457

State & local government tax spending per person

You will “over-pay” for groceries, gas and medicine from higher taxes to pay for an “overly expensive” government that already spends 49% more than the average state per person.

Follow us – OregonWatchdog.com

(This information furnished by Jason D. Williams, Taxpayer Association of Oregon.)


Argument in Opposition

Powell’s Books Urges Voters to Say NO to Measure 97

Powell’s Books is in a highly competitive, low profit margin business. We’re challenged every year to figure out how we’re going to be viable against large, out-of-state competitors. When we consider the dramatic increase in expenses we would face from Measure 97, we simply don’t know how we’d pay for it.

When most businesses face increased expenses, they can either raise prices or reduce costs. Raising prices isn’t an option for us. Publishers set the prices of books in our industry. Expenses we can control are mostly employee related costs. Reducing staff makes no sense if it impairs the level of service that makes Powell’s a special place for book lovers.

Backers of 97 argue it's a tax only on giant, faceless, out-of-state companies. That doesn’t describe Powell’s or other Oregon companies directly taxed under Measure 97 at all. In fact, one quarter of the companies directly taxed by 97 are Oregon-based companies just like us.

While our business would be directly taxed by Measure 97, every Oregon business–and every Oregon consumer–would feel the burden of the new tax. As the nonpartisan Legislative Revenue Office reported, two-thirds of the $6 billion tax would end up as a hidden sales tax paid by Oregonians in higher prices on virtually everything we buy from food, cable, phone service and housing to gas, electricity, insurance, medicine and health care.

As booksellers, we don’t usually get involved in political issues. As Oregonians, we want to solve the challenges facing our state. This tax would impact our neighbors, customers and employees to such a degree–and with no guarantee or accountability for how the money will be spent–that we find we have no choice but to oppose it.

We urge you to find out more about Measure 97 at FactsAbout97.com, and vote No.

Miriam Sontz, CEO of Powell's Bookstore

Emily Powell, President and Owner of Powell's Bookstore

(This information furnished by Emily Powell, President & Owner, Powell's Bookstore.)


Argument in Opposition

Union Subcontractors Oppose Measure 97

National Electrical Contractors Association Oregon-Columbia Chapter

Oregon Plumbing and Mechanical Contractors Association

Associated Wall and Ceiling Contractors of Oregon and Southwest Washington

Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association Columbia Chapter

Our members provide most of the union construction work in Oregon. We partner with our unions to lead the construction industry with the highest levels of quality, skill, and integrity. We believe that the public interest and our industry are best served through a harmonious working relationship between the employer and the employee.

By taxing sales rather than profits at the highest rate in the U.S., Measure 97 will hurt the construction industry, union contractors and workers, and Oregon consumers.

Under current law subcontractors are taxed on the profit that they earn on a job. But under Measure 97, subcontractors would be taxed on the entire cost of materials, equipment and labor because all of these things are “sold” to a general contractor. This would be a staggering tax increase that would have costly and damaging consequences. Measure 97 would also act as a “tax on a tax” as manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers would be taxed on the sale of materials and equipment and would pass those costs on to subcontractors.

In many instances this new tax on sales would be so high that it would wipe out a subcontractors entire profit, forcing the subcontractor to pass costs on, reduce salaries and benefits, or both. That's why Oregon’s nonpartisan Legislative Revenue Office concluded that Measure 97 would increase prices for consumers and result in the loss of 38,000 private sector Oregon jobs.

Measure 97 would be particularly bad for union subcontractors as they would be put at a competitive disadvantage by being taxed on the higher wages and benefits they provide their workers. That’s just wrong.

Please join Oregon’s union subcontractors in voting no on this tax that will hurt Oregon’s construction industry, workers, and consumers.

(This information furnished by John Killin, Executive Director, Associated Wall and Ceiling Contractors of Oregon and SW Washington.)


Argument in Opposition

Measure 97 Would Hurt Fixed-Income Retirees

When I first heard about Measure 97, it sounded like a good idea–money for education, senior services and healthcare. The more I learned about the very real impacts on Oregon families, the more shocked I am that something so harmful to us would even be considered.

My husband and I live on a fixed income. Over the last three years, hard times have hit our family and forced two of our three adult children to move home with us along with two of our grandchildren. And we’re not alone. Many families in our community are going through the same struggles.

I don’t know what we’d do if the costs for essential items were to increase. We save every penny and watch every dime to make ends meet. Measure 97 would increase the prices we pay to purchase groceries, fill our prescriptions, put gas in our car, or even turn on our lights or run heat in the winter. We must purchase these items every week to go about our lives, and we don’t have the flexibility to just increase our household spending budget to account for it.

As a retired Family Advocate from the Redmond School District, I’ve worked with hundreds of families just like ours, with parents who care deeply about their children’s future and are doing their best to get by. I dedicated myself to finding solutions for problems. Measure 97 is NOT a solution–not for our schools, for senior citizens and certainly not for the thousands of Oregonians on fixed incomes.

The sponsors of Measure 97 should have known better. This tax would be harmful to so many Oregonians who are already working too hard to make ends meet.

Measure 97’s tax on Oregonians would be a serious burden upon our family and many other families in our community. Please vote no on Measure 97–we just can’t afford it.

Gemey Cameron
Terrebonne, Central Oregon

(This information furnished by Gemey Cameron, Retired Citizen, Central Oregon.)


Argument in Opposition

Measure 97 is Costly and Damaging for Oregon’s Small Businesses


The Oregon Business Association is committed to a healthy economy and healthy schools for our state. Measure 97 would result in costly impacts for businesses large and small, as well as for Oregon consumers.

The proponents claim this would only impact out-of-state corporations, but that’s not true.

Measure 97 would impose a huge new $6 billion tax on Oregon sales – the largest tax increase in state history. It would increase costs for Oregon small and local businesses, working families and consumers with no guarantee where the money would be spent. If passed, this extreme measure would make Oregon businesses less competitive and make Oregon products and services more expensive for all of us.

The nonpartisan Legislative Revenue Office (LRO) concluded that this giant tax increase would result in the loss of over 38,000 private sector jobs. Because Measure 97 would be a new tax on sales—not profits—businesses would be forced to pay the tax on their topline, regardless of whether they make a large profit, small profit or no profit at all. Many employers would be forced to increase prices, cut jobs, or both.

The LRO study also found that two-thirds of this new tax would be passed on to consumers in higher costs of goods and services Oregonians buy every day. Electricity, fuel, insurance, food, medicine and many more necessities would be subject to the tax—costing families an average of $600 per year. Those who could least afford it would get hit the hardest by this tax.

Measure 97 doesn’t even guarantee how the $6 billion would be spent. All the money would go in the state General Fund with no requirements, plan or accountability to Oregonians for how the money will be spent.

Measure 97 is dangerous to our economy, hurts small businesses and is costly to consumers. It’s wrong for Oregon and it deserves a NO vote.

(This information furnished by Ryan Deckert, President, Oregon Business Association.)


Argument in Opposition

Support Local Oregon Businesses, Vote NO on Measure 97

Sponsors of Measure 97 claim that the $6 billion tax increase will only impact large, out-of-state corporations. That’s patently false. Measure 97 hits small businesses far worse than large corporations. That’s why Associated Oregon Industries (AOI) and its 1,450 members are urging voters to reject Measure 97.

Measure 97 forces a tax on sales, not on profits. There are no deductions, no exemptions and no phase-in period. It’s an across-the-board tax hike on business’ top line, not bottom line. Only five other states in the nation have a similar gross receipts tax, all with much lower rates than Measure 97 is proposing.

The tax on sales would hurt smaller, Oregon-based businesses more than large, national chains. Big chains are vertically integrated; they make, package, ship and sell their own products and would pay one 2.5% tax on their sales in Oregon. Most local companies get products from manufacturers and distributors who'd each pay the tax, so the costs they (and their customers face) would often be 7.5% or more.

Measure 97's tax would also be an immediate burden on startup companies that initially have little or no profit–making Oregon one of the worst states to locate a tech company that initially has high sales, but virtually no profit for many years.

AOI has long advocated for improvements and funding for our state’s schools. Today’s students are our employees of the future. Education and workforce development are critical to our economy. But Measure 97 doesn’t guarantee funding for education, or anything else for that matter. The tax goes into the General Fund which can be can be spent by lawmakers on anything they wish. The July 20, 2016 Portland Tribune editorial noted: “The Legislature can spend the available money in any way it sees fit–on pensions, prisons or pet projects.”

Measure 97 hurts Oregon small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy. Please vote NO.

(This information furnished by Jay Clemens, President, Associated Oregon Industries.)


Argument in Opposition

Newspapers across the state recognize Measure 97’s empty promise

Portland Tribune
, 8/11/16
“But opponents of the measure argue that passing the tax is akin to writing a ‘blank check’ to the Legislature, because the ballot measure is not constitutionally binding. That means that lawmakers may spend the estimated $3 billion in annual state revenue from the tax for any purpose they see fit.

And an opinion released last week by the nonpartisan Office of the Legislative Counsel supports the opponents’ claim.”

Eugene Register-Guard, 8/8/16
“The question of how the money will be spent is equally sticky. The state legislature’s legal counsel said last week that there is no way to guarantee money raised by the measure would go to schools, health care and seniors in the future.”

Bend Bulletin, 8/3/16
“Lawmakers could spend the money any way they see fit, whether it be on schools or fish, health care or state police, senior citizens or drug addicts. Moreover, they can do so without explanation, if they chose.

Now it’s true that lawmakers may promise they will spend 97’s revenues on what the measure calls for, but it’s a promise neither they nor supporters can guarantee will be kept.”

Bend Bulletin, 7/14/16
“The board of Bend-La Pine Schools has come out against [M97]. [B]oard members said they were skeptical how lawmakers would go about spending that money and whether schools would see such a windfall… ‘I don’t think these funds will ever hit the classroom,’ said board member Cheri Helt … adding … ‘we’re just giving them a blank check.’”

Klamath Falls Herald and News, 8/7/16
“This really is about a general increase in funds for all of state government funded through the state’s general fund…”

“But if Oregon is going to build a bigger overall state service structure, shouldn’t we be hearing a lot more specifics about what that means…?”

“Measure 97 is too big, too loose, too sloppy, too open-ended…”

Read more at www.FactsAbout97.com

(This information furnished by Rebecca Tweed, Defeat the Tax on Oregon Sales.)


Argument in Opposition

Coalition to Defeat the Tax on Oregon Sales

Our broad-based coalition represents tens of thousands of individual Oregon citizens, farm families, small business owners, major local employers and over 100 local and state organizations. We all agree Measure 97 is misleading, harmful to Oregon consumers and small businesses, and bad for Oregon’s economy.

Revenues are not really dedicated to education – or anything else. Under state law and past Oregon Supreme Court decisions, initiatives like 97 cannot dictate future legislatures’ spending decisions. The Legislative Counsel, the top legislative law expert, determined the legislature could spend the revenues “any way it chooses.”

It would be costly for Oregon consumers and businesses. Taxing the sales of companies providing most of the goods and services in Oregon is just a tricky way of imposing a hidden sales tax. All economic studies show that by increasing the prices of food, housing, electricity, gas, insurance, medicine, health care and other essential products and services, 97 would increase living costs for Oregon families and operating costs for local businesses, ranging from farmers, small retailers and restaurants to high tech companies.

It would especially hurt consumers and small businesses who can least afford higher costs. Oregon’s top taxation authority, the Legislative Revenue Office, concluded 97 would be regressive and cost a typical household $600 per year. It wouldn’t make “big corporations pay their fair share.” It would force low-income families, seniors on fixed incomes and small businesses who can least afford higher costs to pay more than their fair share. LRO also concluded 97 would cause the loss of 38,000 private sector jobs, hurting our state’s economy.

It’s wrong to increase state revenues with a badly-designed tax that would increase costs for essentials like food, medicine and health care, put the biggest burden on families and small businesses who can least afford it, cost thousands of Oregonians their jobs–and let politicians spend the money however they choose.

Please vote NO on 97.

(This information furnished by Rebecca Tweed, Defeat the Tax on Oregon Sales.)


Argument in Opposition

Chambers of Commerce Statewide Urge Your No Vote On Measure 97

Chambers of Commerce across the state, representing tens of thousands of Oregon’s small businesses, nonprofits, community organizations and citizens, are adamantly opposed to Measure 97.

Measure 97’s $6 billion tax increase would harm Oregon consumers, small businesses, and employers. This would cost Oregonian families over $600 per year and result in over 38,000 lost jobs - all with no guarantee for how the money would be spent.

Join us in opposing Measure 97

Albany Area Chamber of Commerce
Astoria-Warrenton Chamber of Commerce
Baker County Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau
Bay Area Chamber of Commerce
Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce
Bend Chamber of Commerce
Boardman Chamber of Commerce
Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce
Clatskanie Chamber of Commerce
Corvallis Chamber of Commerce
Dallas Chamber of Commerce
East Portland Chamber of Commerce
Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce
Florence Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center
Grants Pass & Josephine County Chamber of Commerce
Gresham Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center
Heppner Chamber of Commerce
Hermiston Chamber of Commerce
Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce
Keizer Chamber of Commerce
Klamath County Chamber of Commerce
Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce
McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce
North Clackamas Chamber of Commerce
North Plains Chamber of Commerce

Ontario Area Chamber of Commerce
Oregon City Chamber of Commerce
Oregon State Chamber of Commerce
Pendleton Chamber of Commerce
Redmond Chamber of Commerce & CVB
Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce

Salem Area Chamber of Commerce
Seaside Chamber of Commerce
Sherwood Chamber of Commerce
Silverton Chamber of Commerce
South Columbia County Chamber of Commerce
Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce
Stayton Sublimity Chamber of Commerce
The Chamber of Medford/Jackson County
Tigard Chamber of Commerce
Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce
Tualatin Chamber of Commerce
Wilsonville Area Chamber of Commerce

Read more at www.FactsAbout97.com

(This information furnished by Danile K. Kelly, Oregon State Chamber of Commerce.)


Argument in Opposition

Our Small Craft Distillery Would Be Hurt By Measure 97

Big Bottom Distilling, our independent craft distillery in Hillsboro, isn’t a big corporation, but will definitely pay higher prices to produce our Oregon products if Measure 97 passes.

In 2010, we began this startup with the goal of creating world class, small-batch specialty whiskeys, gins, rums and brandies by using Oregon products and water.

Our company’s local products compete against huge international liquor brands on the shelves of liquor stores across Oregon and also the world.

Measure 97 would make our Oregon craft products even less competitive against these mass-produced products because like most Oregonians we would pay Measure 97’s hidden sales tax.

Our small business doesn’t make a lot of money, so when prices increase for the staples that we buy to produce our Oregon craft products like grain, electricity, equipment, insurance, and bottles, we would likely be forced to increase the price of our products that make them less attractive to customers.

Don’t be fooled by advertising that says that this is only a tax on big corporations. A tax this big doesn’t just fall out of the sky. We’ll all end up paying more for products and services we buy every day.

Measure 97 also can’t guarantee any improvement to state services. The State Legislature’s own attorneys have said that none of the money is earmarked for any specific purpose. All the new tax money will end up in the state’s checking account to be spent by Salem politicians however they want.

Please vote No on Measure 97 to keep our local craft products competitive. Our state has budget problems, but Measure 97 is the wrong answer.

Ted Pappas is the owner of Big Bottom Distilling, LLC

(This information furnished by Ted Pappas, Owner, Big Bottom Distilling, LLC.)


Argument in Opposition

School Board Members Know Measure 97 Is the Wrong Way to Help Our Schools

As school board members our top priority is ensuring that Oregon students receive an excellent education that prepares them for college, career and life. We want our schools and teachers to have the resources they need to help students succeed.

We also know that what happens at home is just as important for a child’s learning as what happens in school. Unemployment, poverty and other consequences of a poor economy reduce a child’s ability to learn at school and succeed in life.

We oppose Measure 97 because it damages our economy and hurts low and middle-income families without guaranteeing a single extra teacher or school day.

The State’s nonpartisan Legislative Revenue Office (LRO) says Measure 97 will result in fewer jobs, reduce household income and cost families hundreds of dollars per year. LRO also says these impacts would be most severe for low-income families.

The State’s nonpartisan lawyers say that the legislators can spend the dollars from Measure 97 however they please and that there is no guarantee that the dollars will make their way to the classroom. This is the wrong way to address Oregon’s school funding needs.

We’d love more money for schools. But if voters are asked to approve a tax increase, they shouldn’t be asked to face reduced job prospects and lower household income, and they should be guaranteed that the money will improve our schools.

Oregon needs thriving schools and a thriving economy. Measure 97 pits the two against each other. It is poorly drafted, damaging to Oregon’s economy and families, and does nothing to guarantee improved education. Please join us in voting NO.

Bend-La Pine School Board
Pamela Knowles, Director, Portland Public Schools
Kevin Cassidy, Board Member, Baker 5J
Kris Howatt, Gresham-Barlow School Board Member
Hank Perry, Oregon School Boards Assoc. Board Member
Jake Gibbs, Oakland School District Board of Education member

(This information furnished by Rebecca Tweed, Defeat the Tax on Oregon Sales.)


Argument in Opposition

Newspapers across the state agree: Measure 97 is bad for Oregon

The Oregonian, 6/8/16
“… consider this: Less than two weeks earlier, the Legislative Revenue Office noted, among other things, that the tax would slow the growth in private-sector employment and behave much like a sales tax, reducing annual income by hundreds of dollars even for people making less than $21,000 per year.

Portland Tribune, 8/11/16
“Measure 97 also would erase thousands of private-sector jobs.”

Eugene Register Guard, 8/8/16
“A 2.5 percent gross receipts tax would wipe out these businesses’ yearly profits in Oregon, leaving them two choice: Increase their prices significantly or leave the state.”

Bend Bulletin, 7/2/16
“The measure will hit consumers like a sales tax in disguise.

The tax is also structured to allow what’s called tax pyramiding. It’s a sales tax that grows as products head to market: Materials suppliers may have to pay, and they’ll pass their higher costs onto manufacturers. Manufacturers may have to pay, as well, and their tax will be added before the dress or the salad dressing hits store shelves. And retailers may have to pay, too — yet a third tax hidden in the price of what you buy.

And remember there’s no exemption on this tax for food, or for a trip to the doctor’s office or for the medicine you get at the local Walgreen’s or Walmart.

The increased revenue that [Measure 97] will bring to the state will come at a very real cost for Oregonians.”

The Yamhill Valley News Register, 8/4/16
“The measure would tap low-margin home-grown companies like Wilco, not just out-of-state goliaths like Walmart, and companies on the verge of going under, not just those amassing riches. It would tap a product’s producer, processor, distributor and retailer by turn, driving up prices. In the process, it would discourage investment, expansion and employment, thus stalling the economic engine responsible for future tax revenue.”

Read more at www.FactsAbout97.com

(This information furnished by Rebecca Tweed, Defeat the Tax on Oregon Sales.)


Argument in Opposition

As a leader in Southern Oregon for education and economic development, I urge you to oppose Measure 97

I’ve dedicated myself to strengthening the Southern Oregon economy and to ensuring that Oregon students have an opportunity to thrive in a rewarding career. Measure 97 hurts these efforts. As the former lead economic development official for Southern Oregon, I know that Measure 97 will damage Oregon’s efforts to expand job opportunities for Oregon families.

Measure 97’s tax on sales would be the highest in the country. Businesses would be forced to pay this tax even if they earned low profits or no profits at all.

Measure 97 would put Oregon communities at a significant disadvantage to other states in the effort to grow jobs. Oregon’s nonpartisan Legislative Revenue Office reported Measure 97 would cost Oregon 38,000 jobs and cost the average family over $600 per year as a result of higher prices, reduced household income, and other impacts. That is not the sustainable, well-considered tax reform all Oregonians need.

I believe Oregon needs more funding for education and career training as well as significant tax reform but Measure 97 is ill-conceived and unsustainable and will damage Oregon’s economy.

Earlier this year I helped lead the charge to pass a bond measure to improve the facilities at our community college. We were successful because the measure raised money for specific improvement projects that were clearly spelled out for taxpayers.

Measure 97 on the other hand is a blank check to politicians in Salem to spend the increased taxes however the legislature pleases.

Oregon needs solutions that support a healthy economy, great schools and sound tax policy. Unfortunately Measure 97 damages our economy, reduces job prospects for Oregonians, and costs families hundreds of dollars per year while doing nothing to guarantee improved education. Please join me in voting no.

(This information furnished by Ronald G. Fox, Community College Board Member.)


Argument in Opposition

Wilco Farmers Oppose Measure 97

Wilco is a cooperative owned by about 3,000 Oregon farmers. We support our farmer-members with a wide range of products and services to help make farm operations more productive and competitive globally. We also operate 18 farm stores stocked specially to serve our farm communities.

After carefully reviewing Measure 97, our board strongly opposed it.

Measure 97 would tax a company’s sales, not its profits. Like the personal income tax, corporate income tax rates are intended to reflect the taxpayer’s ability to pay, with those earning more profit paying more in taxes.

But under Measure 97, businesses would pay a 2.5% tax on their total sales regardless whether they make little or no profit or are actually losing money. Wilco would be hit especially hard by that change because we have a very slim profit margins.

Our customers would also feel the impact of Measure 97’s “tax on a tax on a tax.”

Because Measure 97 would tax a number of our suppliers, they are likely to pass the cost of their tax increase on to us in the form of higher prices. That may be particularly true for Wilco Fuel Services. Our fuel products may be taxed at both the manufacturer level and the distributor levels as well as when we sell it to our members. The 2.5% tax at each level could compound at each stage making the final Measure 97 tax cost to our customers 7.5% or higher. This makes costs for our farmers, their customers, and finally Oregon consumers higher as well.

Take a close look at Measure 97. Find more information at FactsAbout97.com.

Vote NO on Measure 97.

(This information furnished by Doug Hoffman, President Wilco Farmers.)


Argument in Opposition

MEASURE 97’s STICKER SHOCK:

More expensive cars, fuel, parts and insurance

Measure 97’s proposed tax on Oregon sales would hurt our customers and hit Oregon consumers in their pocketbooks.

Measure 97 is not a tax on profits, but instead is a tax on sales. Implementing a tax on sales is especially unfair to businesses with small profit margins. The average auto dealer’s profit margin is just 2.3%. Since Measure 97 proposes a 2.5% tax on sales, Oregon dealers would have little choice but to increase car prices in order to stay in business.

Measure 97 would also raise the cost of owning and operating your car. You’d see higher prices when filling your tank, buying car parts, even buying auto insurance. In fact, Measure 97’s $6 billion tax increase would drive up consumer prices for many essential goods and services we buy every day.

Former State Economist Tom Potiowsky, who led the Northwest Economic Research Council study paid for by Measure 97’s sponsors, said Measure 97's tax is “like a sales tax on steroids” (East Oregonian, 3/18/16). The Oregonian (7/27/16) revealed that when 97’s sponsors tried to pressure him into saying 97’s tax on certain corporations would not have regressive impacts on consumers, Potiowsky said: “Applying [a gross receipts tax] to a narrow group of C corporations does not make regressivity go away.”

Auto dealers and other businesses with narrow profit margins – like grocery stores, wholesalers, medical practices and farmers – would be hit especially hard by Measure 97’s tax on sales. Companies like ours would have to pay the tax whether they make a small profit, no profit or even lose money. Measure 97 would force these types of businesses to cut jobs and benefits for our employees, raise prices, or both just to stay in business, especially hurting those Oregonians who could least afford it.

Learn more at FactsAbout97.com. Please join us in voting NO.

(This information furnished by Gregory P. Remensperger, EVP Oregon Automobile Dealers Association.)


Argument in Opposition

Measure 97 would increase the cost of housing

Oregon is experiencing a housing boom unlike we’ve seen in decades. Demand for new housing has home builders working at a furious pace. But high prices are squeezing many people out of the market.

Measure 97 threatens to raise housing costs and decrease housing production, making the problem worse.

One costly quirk in Measure 97 is that it would tax sales, not profits, at potentially every step in the production process. There could be a tax when the timber company sells logs to a mill, which would be compounded when the mill sells finished lumber to a distributor, compounded again when a distributor sells the lumber to a builder, and yet again when a family purchases the house. Windows, doors, hardware, concrete, paint, insurance and utilities–all could also be subject to Measure 97’s “tax on a tax,” further boosting housing costs.

The Oregon Home Builders Association advocates for policies that will improve housing affordability for Oregonians. Measure 97 is in direct conflict with this effort and that’s why we’re urging a NO vote.

Measure 97 will raise prices on more than just housing. Oregonians will pay higher prices for essentials we buy every day–clothing, gas, medicine, utilities, insurance, medical care and groceries. The Legislative Revenue Office (LRO) concluded that the average working family would pay over $600 more per year due to Measure 97, and experience higher costs for large purchases like a home or a home remodeling project.

Proponents claim this is about “big out-of-state corporations.” They’re wrong. This is about small businesses, like our members, who provide thousands of jobs around Oregon. Currently our industry is growing, but jobs would be at risk under Measure 97. The LRO report and the proponents’ own economic study determined that this measure would eliminate tens of thousands of jobs in our state.

Measure 97 increases home costs and cuts jobs. Please join us in voting NO.

(This information furnished by Jon A. Chandler, CEO/Oregon Home Builders Association.)


Argument in Opposition

Umpqua Dairy: Measure 97 would be bad for local Oregon businesses

Our grandfather founded Umpqua Dairy in 1931 out of a small, wooden building by the railroad tracks in Roseburg, Oregon. Still a family-owned business in its third generation, our company has been a proud member of the southern Oregon community for over 85 years.

Measure 97 would be devastating to hundreds of local, family-run businesses like Umpqua Dairy. It would tax our total sales, not our profits. That means we would pay the same tax regardless of whether we make a profit, break even or lose money. This approach would be particularly devastating to those in the food industry who already operate on a very thin margin.

Unlike similar taxes in other states, Measure 97’s tax would apply even to basic necessities like groceries. Umpqua Dairy makes basic food products that Oregonians buy and feed their families every day: milk, ice cream, juice, and other staples. Unable to absorb the cost, Measure 97 would force us and other local businesses to raise prices.

The nonpartisan Legislative Revenue Office study of Measure 97 found that 2/3 of its $6 billion tax on sales would be passed on through higher prices for consumer goods, and that the measure would cost the average Oregon family over $600 more per year.

Measure 97 would also force local businesses to reduce their workforces through fewer new hires and employee layoffs. An unusually large number of our employees have been with us for more than 20 years; they are our friends, neighbors and family members. Statewide, approximately 38,000 private sector jobs would be lost, which would be very harmful to our state economy.

It’s clear that Measure 97’s negative impacts would be far reaching–it would hurt the communities where we work, shop, and live our lives.

Please join us and other local, family-owned Oregon businesses in voting NO on Measure 97.

Steven Feldkamp, Umpqua Dairy

(This information furnished by Steven D. Feldkamp, COO, Umpqua Dairy.)


Argument in Opposition

Our Family Owned Oregon Business Will Suffer Under Measure 97

Baker Rock Resources is a local, family-owned company that has been in the asphalt and aggregate production business for 60 years. We only do work in Oregon and we provide about 200 jobs throughout the state.

Proponents of Measure 97 claim the $6 billion tax hike is only for big, out-of-state corporations. That’s not true. Measure 97 would hit our family business in a way that jeopardizes our future, our ability to compete against out-of-state companies, and the jobs of those we employ.

Most Oregon business taxes are tied to profit. Measure 97 taxes sales, which means business in Oregon would have to pay this huge tax whether we make a small profit, large profit or no profit at all.

In our line of work, we sell construction materials for highway projects. Our sales are above the $25 million threshold, but our profit margin is low. Measure 97 makes no exceptions for this situation. It would tax us on our top line, not our bottom line, resulting in the loss of our narrow profit margin. To make matters worse, we would be hit with higher costs from our suppliers and service providers to compensate for their tax increases, increasing our basic operating costs even more.

Businesses like ours and local businesses across the state cannot afford to simply absorb this cost, as proponents argue. We’d be forced to pass along the cost—ironically much of it to state and local government customers—or cut jobs, or both.

Not only does Measure 97 threaten over 38,000 private sector jobs, it would cost the average working family over $600 per year.

These are real jobs, real families, and very real costs to Oregonians.

Measure 97 isn’t all about big corporations. It would hurt local family-owned businesses like ours in a way that we’ve never seen in Oregon.

Don’t hurt Oregon family-owned businesses.

Vote NO on Measure 97.

(This information furnished by Todd Baker, President Baker Rock Resources.)


Argument in Opposition

Oregon Retail Council recommends a NO vote

After careful study, the Oregon Retail Council urges a NO vote on Measure 97. We want our customers to know why.

Measure 97 would implement a 2.5% tax on sales, not profits. Because a retail store is a low-margin business, meaning profits are small (3% or less), a tax that takes 2.5% of every sale leaves many retailers with no profit at all. Retailers with small profits, no profits or even losses would still be forced to pay this proposed tax.

Oregon consumers will pay billions more in higher prices

The state Legislative Revenue Office estimated that two-thirds of the Measure 97 tax would ultimately be paid by consumers in Oregon in higher prices for everyday essentials – food, clothing, cars, cable, electricity, phone service, gas, insurance – even medicine and health care, costing the average Oregon family over $600 more per year.

Measure 97 is a “tax on tax”

Measure 97’s tax on sales would be added at each step in the production process. A product moving from the manufacturer, to a packaging company, to a distributor and then finally to one of our retailers could be taxed multiple times before finally reaching the consumer. This compounding “tax on a tax” would make Oregon products more expensive.

No guarantees, no accountability

Another troubling aspect of this enormous new tax is that there’s no plan or accountability for how the $6 billion would be spent. All the money goes to the General Fund and could be spent on anything legislators choose. Measure 97 is nothing short of a blank check for politicians and bureaucrats to spend any way they please.

Measure 97 is damaging to Oregon businesses and costly to Oregon consumers. It deserves a NO vote.

(This information furnished by Betsy Earls, Director, Oregon Retail Council.)


Argument in Opposition

Measure 97 is bad for Oregon Farmers and Families

The Oregon Farm Bureau represents 7,000 Oregon farm and ranch families and 60,000 member families overall. We’re accustomed to taxes and regulations, but never have we seen a tax as unfair and damaging to Oregon agriculture as Measure 97.

Measure 97 taxes gross sales, not profits

Many Oregon farm families operate on very thin profit margins. Measure 97 would tax our total sales and increase costs for the electricity, equipment, and fuel it takes to produce food, even when we have a small profit or even losing money. This is simply unfair and would burden our farmers unlike any other state.

98% of Oregon farms are family owned and operated. Crops produced by farmers here are sold around the world. Measure 97’s giant tax hike would put our family farms at a competitive disadvantage.

Measure 97 increases food costs for consumers, from our farms to your tables

Measure 97 isn’t just bad for Oregon family farmers. It’s harmful to all Oregonians. A study by the nonpartisan Legislative Revenue Office (LRO) revealed most of this tax would be paid by consumers in the form of higher prices on everyday items such as gasoline, medicine, utilities and even food. They estimate the cost to be $600 more per year for the average Oregon family.

The tax would be assessed at each step in the production process. By the time a product has gone from the farm to the consumer it has likely been taxed multiple times, increasing its cost. The LRO refers to Measure 97 as a “consumption tax,” like a sales tax, but without exemptions for everyday essentials.

Job losses included in Measure 97

Oregon agriculture provides over 326,000 jobs in the state. Measure 97 threatens those jobs and our family farmers. In fact, the LRO determined over 38,000 private sector jobs could disappear if this measure passes.

Don’t hurt Oregon agriculture. Vote NO on Measure 97.

(This information furnished by Dave Dillon, Executive Vice President, Oregon Farm Bureau Federation.)


Argument in Opposition

Why Papa’s Pizza Strongly Opposes Measure 97

Papa’s Pizza is proud to have served pizza to Oregon families for 45 years from its five locations in Eugene, Springfield, Corvallis and Beaverton. We’re not big enough to pay the Measure 97 tax directly, but that doesn’t mean it won’t affect us, our employees and our customers.

The companies we buy our food and beverage products from would all be taxed under Measure 97. Their margins are so small they’d have no choice but to pass the tax cost on to us. We would also see increases in our electricity and gas bills, insurance, and on dozens of goods and services we buy.

When our costs on the top line go up, less gets to our bottom line – unless we raise prices or reduce labor, or both. That’s true for all businesses.

Measure 97 would be the highest tax on sales in the country. Nonpartisan economists in the Legislative Revenue Office estimated Measure 97 would cause the loss of 38,200 private-sector jobs. It would also make Oregon one of the worst states in the country to locate a new business, even a small one like ours.

Unlike corporate income taxes, Measure 97 taxes a company’s sales, not its profits. Those businesses would pay 2.5% on their total sales, even if they make little or no profit, or are actually losing money. Clearly, that hurts businesses with small profit margins, like grocery stores, restaurants, farms and businesses just starting out.

Measure 97 is basically a hidden sales tax on consumers and small businesses. It imposes $6 billion in new taxes on the sales of goods and services in Oregon, including everything from groceries, school supplies, cars, home remodeling, utilities, prescriptions and health care to insurance, cable, and even a family dinner at Papa’s Pizza.

Measure 97 would hurt Oregon’s local family businesses. Find more information at FactsAbout97.com.

We hope you’ll join us in voting NO on Measure 97.

(This information furnished by Mike Nesbitt, Papa's Pizza.)


Argument in Opposition

Measure 97 is Damaging to Oregon’s Small Businesses

The Oregon Small Business Association represents approximately 8,000 Oregon small businesses. Our mission is to protect and enhance Oregon’s small business environment. But Measure 97 is the most anti-small business proposal we’ve seen in decades.

Measure 97’s tax hurts consumers, not just small businesses.

Companies cannot absorb Measure 97’s higher costs. They would be forced to pass those costs to customers. Legislative Revenue economists concluded that two-thirds of the tax would be passed to Oregonians in the form of higher prices on everyday essentials.

Despite how the ballot summary is worded, Measure 97 doesn’t actually guarantee revenues would go to schools, healthcare or anything else. Revenues would go into the General Fund. The nonpartisan Legislative Counsel has determined the legislature may spend the money however it wants. It’s a blank check for politicians and bureaucrats, with no accountability to the public.

Measure 97 impacts small, family-owned businesses more than large, national chains.

Measure 97 would make it harder for Oregon-based businesses to compete with big national chains. Big chains make, distribute and sell their own products, so those products would be subject to a single 2.5% tax. Local businesses often get products through independent manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors that would each pay the tax. Local businesses and their customers would face a tax on a tax on a tax, causing costs for some products to go up by 7.5% or more.

Measure 97 would have a stifling effect on technology startup companies.

Small startups rarely make any profit during their early years, but would still be forced to pay Measure 97’s tax on their gross sales. This puts Oregon technology startups at a competitive disadvantage against those in other startup states, such as Washington and California.

Setting state tax policy deserves thoughtful deliberation by lawmakers, not a ballot measure drafted by special interests.

Join with Oregon’s local small businesses and vote NO on Measure 97.

(This information furnished by TJ Reilly, President, Oregon Small Business Association.)


Argument in Opposition

Loggers: Measure 97 is costly to Oregonians

Associated Oregon Loggers (AOL) is the statewide trade association representing 1,000 member companies engaged in the harvest and sustainable forest management of Oregon’s 30 million acres of forestland.

Our organization is opposed to Measure 97.

Measure 97 would impose $6 billion in new taxes on the sales of products and services that Oregonians buy every day. It is a gross sales tax that would result in the largest tax increase in our state’s history. Because it would be a new tax on gross sales, not profits, businesses would be required to pay the tax on total revenues, regardless if they made a profit on those sales.

The new tax would be applied to many products and services including food, electricity, insurance, health care, medicine, fuel and other essential products. The proponents of the measure want voters to believe the new tax would only affect large corporations. But the fact is the ultimate costs would fall on all Oregon consumers in the form of higher prices for almost everything we buy.

Furthermore, this measure would add a new tax at every step in the production process. By the time an Oregon product goes from a manufacturer to a distributor and then to a retailer, it could be taxed multiple times before being purchased by the consumer.

For example, when a logging company sells timber to a mill, it would have to pay the 2.5% tax. The mill sells lumber to a wholesaler, and pays another 2.5% tax. The wholesaler sells the lumber to a big box store and would pay another 2.5% tax. Finally, the big box store sells the lumber to the consumer and it, too, would pay the 2.5% tax. It’s pretty easy to see who is going to pay for this new tax...Oregon consumers.

Measure 97 is a flawed policy and deserves a NO vote.

(This information furnished by Jim C. Geisinger, Executive Vice President, Associated Oregon Loggers, Inc.)


Argument in Opposition

Oregon’s Homegrown Food Companies
Urge a NO vote on Measure 97

Measure 97 would be the largest tax increase in state history and would create a tax structure that would put Oregon companies at a competitive disadvantage.

Measure 97 would impose a 2.5% tax on the sales of any goods and services sold by companies legally organized as “C Corps” that have more than $25 million in sales per year in Oregon. It would be a tax on gross sales, not profits, with no exemptions for operating costs and no exemptions for any type of product or service.

Because Measure 97 was written to tax products at each sale point, food would be taxed multiple times within the supply chain. Food manufacturing, wholesaling, distributing and then the final point of sale would all be taxable events. Thus, locally grown and produced food would be more costly to the consumer when compared with food produced outside the state. This makes Oregon a less attractive state for food makers that want to continue to provide affordable food to Oregonians and other global customers. Additionally, this would hurt Oregon’s small and growing food makers more than their larger competitors who could better afford the added cost of Measure 97.

This additional cost would hurt Oregon food makers and the farmers that provide them their raw agricultural products.

Furthermore, there’s no guarantee that Measure 97 would provide more revenue for education and other vital services. The Legislative Counsel, which provides legal advice to the state legislature, confirmed that the legislature “may appropriate revenues generated by the measure in any way it chooses.” Measure 97 is a blank check to the politicians and bureaucrats to spend as they please.

Measure 97 is a costly and damaging tax proposal for Oregon’s food products, small businesses and consumers, and it provides no accountability for how the revenues would be spent. It deserves a NO vote.

(This information furnished by Ian Tolleson, Northwest Food Processors Association.)


Argument in Opposition

Corvallis Clinic: Measure 97 will drive up the cost of healthcare

I’ve been a practicing ENT Surgeon for over 25 years. I’ve dedicated my life’s work to improving the health of my patients. I’m proud to serve at a physician-owned clinic. Over the years we’ve grown to a size where we can compete with larger healthcare systems, yet we charge less than many other medical providers in the area.

As a physician, I rarely publicly engage in political matters, but Measure 97 is too damaging for me to sit by and not comment.

Over the past two decades healthcare costs have increasingly climbed, reaching a level where it’s become more of a luxury than a basic necessity. Most of that increase has been tied to the costs of drugs, equipment and other supplies that will be taxed by Measure 97.

Measure 97 would increase the cost of medicine and doctor visits

This would hurt my patients because Measure 97’s 2.5% tax can be charged at every step in the healthcare delivery system. A medical supplier could pass the tax to the distributor, and they could add another 2.5% to the retailer, who passes along their 2.5% increase. By now, the 7.5% tax increase would fall solely on patients.

Measure 97 is most harmful to low-and-fixed income Oregonians

Nearly half of my patients are low-and/or-fixed income Oregonians. Cost increases are substantial to them and may mean the difference between seeing a doctor or not, filling a prescription or not. I believe it’s unfathomable to tax healthcare in a way that makes it prohibitive to our most vulnerable citizens.

I greatly value state healthcare services. I was shocked to learn from the Legislative Counsel that all the tax revenue from Measure 97 may be spent by the legislature “in any way it chooses.” We get no accountability.

For these reasons, I respectfully encourage you to vote NO on Measure 97.

(This information furnished by Dr. Nick Benton, Corvallis Clinic.)


Argument in Opposition

Measure 97 would lead to higher prices for food and groceries

THREE REASONS WHY GROCERY SHOPPERS SHOULD VOTE NO ON MEASURE 97

1) The Only Options for Grocery Stores Are To Raise Prices, Cut Jobs, or Both.

Proponents claim businesses would absorb their $6 billion tax hike but that’s simply not possible for grocery stores. The average Oregon grocery store is a high-volume business with low profit margins— often less than Measure 97’s 2.5% tax on sales. Because Measure 97 taxes sales—not profits—the tax on some grocers would wipe out their profit entirely.

2) Measure 97 Is "Like A Sales Tax On Steroids"

The Oregon Legislative Revenue Office economists concluded that 2/3 of the $6 billion tax would be passed onto Oregon families, costing an average family over $600 per year in higher prices for essentials such as food, utilities, prescriptions, clothing and insurance. Those who could least afford it—low income families, seniors on fixed income and students—would be hit the hardest by this regressive tax.

In an article by the East Oregonian on March 18, Oregon's former State Economist stated that Measure 97 would be "like a sales tax on steroids."

3) Legislative Attorneys Confirm; Measure 97 Is A Blank Check for The Legislature

Proponents claim its revenues would help fund education and healthcare but the legislature’s own attorneys say that’s not true. The new taxes would be paid into the state General Fund and Salem politicians could spend them on anything they please.

Measure 97 is deeply flawed. It would increase costs for household staples that Oregon consumers must purchase, with no guarantee about where the money would be spent.

That’s why the Northwest Grocery Association is urging a NO vote on Measure 97.

Please find out more at FactsAbout97.com and join us in voting NO.

(This information furnished by Joe Gilliam, President, Northwest Grocery Association.)


Argument in Opposition

Measure 97 will Hurt Oregon Family Farmers

Our family has been farming in the St. Paul area of the Willamette Valley since 1865. We grow some of the best hops in the world – hops essential for great craft beers.

Measure 97 is a backdoor sales tax.

Like all Oregonians, our family will feel the pinch of higher prices caused by Measure 97. It will raise costs for things we all buy – clothes, cars, cable TV, groceries, phone service to fuel, electricity, insurance – even medicine and health care. The nonpartisan Legislative Revenue Office estimated Measure 97 would cost the average family about $600 a year.

Farmers like us will also face higher prices for farm equipment and supplies. It’ll cost our family hop farm as much as $150,000 more each year. Sponsors say the tax will only be paid by giant, out-of-state corporations, but that’s not true. Oregon Governor Kate Brown said “Oregonians are smart enough to realize they will bear some of the cost.” (OPB News 8/26/16)

I am on the board of Wilco, a cooperative owned by about 3,000 Oregon farmers. Wilco was formed in the late 1960s to aid farm families with agronomy services, fuels and specialized stores tailored to serve the needs of Oregon farm families.

Wilco isn’t a big, out-of-state corporation. Yet Wilco’s Oregon tax bill would climb ten times higher if Measure 97 passes. Wilco’s business is cyclical, like farming itself. Some years we make a small profit. Some years we lose money. But Wilco would pay the new, higher tax whether we make a profit or lose money. That’s because Measure 97 taxes Wilco’s total sales, not Wilco’s profits.

For the sake of farm families and Wilco co-op members across the state, find out more about Measure 97 as FactsAbout97.com.

Please join us in voting NO on Measure 97.

(This information furnished by Ben Coleman, Owner, Champoeg Farms.)


Argument in Opposition

Regional economic development groups oppose Measure 97

Taxing Sales Instead of Profits Would Make Oregon Unattractive for Economic Growth

Our regional economic development organizations represent large areas of Oregon and a majority of Oregon’s population. We connect employers looking to locate or grow here, and the state and local governments that provide services required for a healthy economy. We're on the frontlines with businesses every day. The boards of each of our nonprofit organizations voted unanimously to oppose Measure 97.

Measure 97 is deeply troubling. It would impose the worst kind of tax on sales that could be added at multiple steps in the production process – a “tax on a tax” – cascading into higher prices for items Oregonians buy every day, without any exemptions. Electricity, fuel, insurance, food, transportation and many other essentials would be subject to the tax – making Oregon products more expensive and Oregon companies less competitive.

Measure 97 sends a negative message to companies considering investments or expansion here, hindering business growth, job creation and the retention of existing jobs for Oregonians.

Businesses that would directly pay this new tax are heavily concentrated in retail, wholesale and utility sectors. These companies would be forced to pass along the tax to all of us, meaning Measure 97’s impacts would be felt throughout the supply chain and hit Oregon consumers hard, especially those who can least afford it.

According to the nonpartisan Legislative Revenue Office, Measure 97 would cause the loss of over 38,000 private sector jobs. To put that figure into context, according to the Oregon Employment Department, only 4,300 net new jobs were created outside the Portland area over the past decade.

Measure 97 is bad for Oregon consumers and our economy. We recommend a NO vote.

Measure 97 is strongly opposed by:

Roger Lee, Economic Development for Central Oregon

Colleen Padilla, Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development, Inc.

Chad Freeman, Strategic Economic Development Corporation

Janet LaBar, Greater Portland Inc

(This information furnished by Chad Freeman, Strategic Economic Development Corporation.)


Argument in Opposition

SureID, Inc. strongly opposes Measure 97. It is a costly and enormous new tax that would strain many Oregon businesses, including software and other technology companies that are so vital to the health, growth and prosperity of this state.

We are an Oregon company, headquartered in Hillsboro and providing quality jobs to hundreds of Oregonians. Measure 97:

Measure 97 would cast a dark pall on Oregon’s technology sector. It would jeopardize Oregon’s economic recovery that local companies and their employees have worked so hard to build.

Let’s not stop technology innovation investment in Oregon and let’s not lose our technology jobs either!

We strongly urge a “NO” vote on Measure 97.

(This information furnished by Cristina De Leon, SureID, Inc.)


Argument in Opposition

Past President of Oregon Medical Association explains why he opposes Measure 97

There are many good reasons to oppose Measure 97, but my primary reason is simple:

Measure 97 hurts my patients.

The Oregon Medical Association expressed similar concerns. “The regressive nature of Measure 97 would mean that our patients, especially those with lower incomes, could face additional barriers to accessing quality care at a reasonable price. The cost of healthcare is already a great burden on families. We believe Measure 97 would compound the problem.”

I care for many senior citizens on fixed budgets. Unlike other state sales taxes, Measure 97 has no exemption for the basics of life – medicine, utilities or food. I am concerned for the health of my most vulnerable patients if they have to choose between which of these they can afford. Because it is a regressive tax, it hurts the working poor and those families still struggling in this economy the most.

The non-partisan Legislative Revenue Office (LRO) points out that Measure 97 would increase the cost of health care statewide by nearly a hundred million dollars per year–resulting in higher prescription costs and insurance rates at a time when they are already too high.

There is no logic to this tax. It's the only tax that I'm aware of where the state actually makes money when you are sick and require medications AND when you take your standard medications to stay well. That's just wrong. Don’t punish Oregonians for taking care of their health.

I fully support funding healthcare and senior services, but under Measure 97 these funds could be spent any way the Legislature wants. I cannot and will not support a tax policy with no guarantee and no plan for where the money goes. My patients deserve assurances, not empty promises.

Measure 97 would hurt my patients and all Oregonians. Please join me and thousands of my medical colleagues in voting NO on Measure 97.

(This information furnished by Dr. Colin Cave, Past President, Oregon Medical Association.)


Argument in Opposition

Measure 97 Hurts Our Family-Owned Fruit Business

Oregon Fruit Products is a Salem-based, family-owned business. For over 80 years we’ve been bringing “fruit to life.” You can find our products in grocery stores and restaurants across the nation and our fruit purees are used by brewers throughout the US in the craft beer industry. We understand the importance of agriculture to our state and are committed to innovation within the food and beverage industry, which helps us to do our part to grow Oregon’s economy.

That commitment is why we adamantly oppose Measure 97. While this change in tax policy does not directly impact us, it will hit our employees, our company and all Oregonians in one way or another.

There’s no such thing as free money, even though that’s what the proponents want us to believe. The independent Legislative Revenue Office determined that Oregonians will bear the brunt of two-thirds of this $6 billion tax—in the form of higher prices on goods and services.

The hidden sales tax in Measure 97 is where the most damage is done to Oregonians, not out-of-state corporations. Everything such as utilities, food, gasoline, insurance, and even medicine will be taxed. Many of the folks who can least afford to have more taken out of their pockets will be hit the hardest.

Measure 97 also puts job growth at risk. Two studies concluded that tens of thousands of jobs would be lost under Measure 97. That’s bad for small businesses and the state’s economy. We want to be around another 80 years but this tax will impact our ability to remain competitive and thus impact the future of our company and jobs.

The proponents want you to believe there’s a guarantee for how the money would be spent. The Legislature’s own independent Legislative Counsel said that isn’t true and confirmed that the legislature may spend the revenue “in any way it chooses.”

Vote NO on Measure 97.

(This information furnished by Chris L. Sarles, President/CEO Oregon Fruit Products.)


Argument in Opposition

Fourth generation Owner of Chown Hardware in Portland Opposes Measure 97

Chown Hardware is the oldest family-owned architectural hardware company in North America. Our headquarters are in Portland’s Pearl District. The company was founded in 1879 by my great-grandfather, Francis Chown. My brother and I are the fourth generation to run the company.

I oppose Measure 97 because it would have a chilling effect on growing businesses in Oregon.

Chown Hardware doesn’t yet meet the threshold for Measure 97’s 2.5% tax on sales. But we’re growing and it’s likely our gross sales will exceed $25 million in a couple of years and we’d be forced to pay Measure 97’s highest-in-the-nation gross receipts tax on our company’s sales.

In our industry, sales are high but profit margins are slim. In fact, a 2.5% tax increase would eliminate our profit. Our only option would be to cut costs—which means jobs—or raise prices. Neither is good for Oregon.

Not only would Measure 97 make it very difficult for us to grow our family business in Oregon, but it would also discourage new startup companies from locating here. Measure 97's tax on sales would impose the highest gross sales tax in the country on businesses. That would essentially make it the worst state in which to locate a new business or manufacturing facility.

I support improved funding for education and healthcare, but Oregonians deserve a fair tax and a clear plan for how money raised would be spent. Measure 97 fails us because it doesn’t provide any plan or oversight for how and where the revenue would be spent. Instead, the money from 97 would go straight into the General Fund.

Our customers expect and deserve accountability for the products we sell. As voters, we deserve accountability for how the largest tax increase in state history would be spent.

Please join me and vote NO on Measure 97.

(This information furnished by David Chown, David Chown, Chown Hardware.)


Argument in Opposition

1,850 Portland Employers Urge

a NO Vote on Measure 97

The vast majority of Portland Business Alliance’s 1,850 member companies are local small businesses, yet our members strongly oppose Measure 97. We encourage voters to take a close look at Measure 97 and join us in voting NO. Find more information at FactsAbout97.com.

Here are some reasons we oppose this unfair and costly measure.

Measure 97 would tax sales, not profits. This is an important distinction. It means a business could lose money, have no profit, yet still have to pay this enormous new tax. There’s no doubt this would force companies to either raise prices, cut jobs or both.

Measure 97 isn’t just one tax, it’s a “tax on a tax.” For many products sold in Oregon, 97 would add a new tax on sales at each step in the production process. By the time a product goes from a manufacturer to a packaging company to a distributor and then to a retailer, it may have been taxed multiple times before finally reaching the consumer. This type of “tax on a tax” would make Oregon products more expensive. A recent study by the nonpartisan Legislative Revenue Office concluded that this tax on sales would cost the average Oregon household over $600 more every year.

Measure 97 taxes some businesses, not others. Only certain corporations would be required to pay 97’s tax on sales, while competitors with similar sales would not. 97 treats Oregon businesses unfairly and creates a competitive disadvantage for many companies.

There’s no guarantee how the money would be spent. Proponents claim this $6 billion tax hike would be dedicated to education funding, healthcare and senior services. But that’s just not true. There’s no guarantee, no plan and no accountability for how this money gets spent. Lawmakers can spend it any way they please.

Please vote NO on Measure 97—it’s costly and unfair

(This information furnished by Sandra K. McDonough, President & CEO, Portland Business Alliance.)


Argument in Opposition

Oregon’s Restaurants and Hotels
Urge a NO Vote on Measure 97

Oregon’s restaurants and hotels are responsible for 164,800 jobs and generate 54% of the annual tourism dollars spent in Oregon.

Our local hotels and restaurants can’t afford Measure 97. Our trade group, the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association, recommends a NO vote on Measure 97 and here’s why:

Measure 97 would tax sales, not profits
Unlike corporate income taxes, Measure 97 would tax a company’s sales, not its profits. That would especially hurt businesses that have a slim profit margin like restaurants, grocery stores, farms and businesses that are already struggling to survive.

Measure 97 would increase costs for restaurants, hotels and consumers
The costs for our services and supplies—food, gas, utilities, fuel, paper products, and insurance, just to name a few—would increase significantly under Measure 97. These higher costs would be felt by consumers through higher prices for food at restaurants and higher travel and lodging expenses.

When the cost of goods and services such as food, medicine, clothing, gas, travel and utilities increases, it becomes a tremendous hardship on many working families that our restaurants and hotels employ.

Measure 97 is a regressive tax on sales
The Legislative Revenue Office study—and even the sponsors’ own economic study—determined that Measure 97 would hit hardest those who can least afford it. It would be a particular hardship for low-income families, seniors on fixed incomes and students.

Measure 97 is bad for Oregon consumers and our Oregon restaurants and hotels. Please vote NO.

(This information furnished by Jason Brandt, Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association.)


Argument in Opposition

Mid Columbia Producers, a Farmer-Owned Cooperative,

Encourages Voters to say NO to Measure 97

Mid Columbia Producers (MCP) is a farmer-owned cooperative based in Moro. We operate grain elevators in four Oregon counties and Klickitat County in Washington to warehouse grain for producers from Oregon and Washington. We also operate a series of fuel sites in Oregon.

MCP recommends a NO vote on Measure 97.

Measure 97 is costly and damaging to businesses like ours with high volume sales and low profit margins. Because Measure 97 taxes sales, not profits, it means we’d pay the same high taxes whether or not we make a profit. This will negatively impact our over 800 small to larger farmer owners at a time when their farms are receiving low prices.

Measure 97 would add costs to our suppliers and distributors. When those businesses raise prices to cover the cost of Measure 97, it will mean even higher prices for the fuel, seed and supplies that we sell our members and customers.

Economists in the nonpartisan Legislative Revenue Office (LRO) have estimated that two-thirds of the Measure 97 tax will be passed on to Oregon businesses and consumers in the form of higher prices. That means the greatest burden from Measure 97 won’t be felt by the companies directly taxed, but by their customers. They also called it regressive, as most taxes on sales are. The heaviest costs would be borne by those least able to pay higher consumer prices.

The LRO concluded that the average Oregon household would pay at least $600 more a year in higher prices because of Measure 97’s hidden sales tax. The LRO estimated Measure 97 would dampen Oregon’s economy and cut private sector job growth by more than 38,000 jobs.

MCP strongly opposes Measure 97. We encourage you to learn more about Measure 97 at FactsAbout97.com. We ask for your help in defeating this expensive new tax.

Vote NO on Measure 97.

(This information furnished by Jeff Kaser, Mid Columbia Producers, Inc.)


Argument in Opposition

Don’t serve the big special interest

Despite what you’ve heard, Measure 97 isn’t about helping Oregon’s working families or holding big corporations accountable. It’s a taxpayer-funded Christmas present for our state’s most insatiable special interests using your money.

Measure 97 was created, funded by, and exists purely to benefit the state’s government employee unions by hiring thousands more public-sector workers – nearly all of whom will be forced to hand over a sizeable portion of their paycheck each month to a labor union.

Why else would 100 percent of the funding for the “Yes on 97” campaign come from one group – government employee unions?

Because if Measure 97 passes, already-wealthy government unions stand to collect an additional $8.9 million annually.

And make no mistake, you’ll be paying for it through higher taxes and increased costs on the goods you buy.

Measure 97 is a union membership drive that would replace thousands of private-sector jobs – the kind that actually generate new revenue for the state’s economy – by expanding Oregon’s already bloated bureaucracy, resulting in more regulations and higher taxes for everyone.

Numerous nonpartisan studies have projected Measure 97 would devastate Oregon’s stagnant economy by forcing employers to either lay off workers or leave the state altogether.

The unions don’t care. All they see are dollar signs.

For more information, visit www.freedomfoundation.com.

The Freedom Foundation urges a vote NO on 97.

(This information furnished by Anne Marie Gurney, Oregon Director, Freedom Foundation.)


Argument in Opposition

Our Neighborhood Restaurant Opposes 97

My husband and I operate a neighborhood quick service restaurant in Rainier, on the Washington/Oregon border. We’re fortunate to have many Washingtonians as our customers, in large part due to our lack of a sales tax. But if Measure 97 passed, those customers would likely shop in their home state because the $6 billion tax increase is effectively a sales tax in disguise.

It’s ridiculous to hear the sponsors claim Measure 97 is aimed solely at big, out-of-state corporations. That’s utterly false. Measure 97 has the greatest negative impact on small businesses and all Oregon consumers.

Although we’re a small business and not directly subjected to the tax hike, most of our suppliers, distributors and service providers will be hit with the tax. Businesses simply can’t absorb a tax hike this large and must pass it along to their customers. In our case, that means our suppliers, distributors and service providers will increase prices. We operate on a very small profit margin and would therefore be forced to pass along the increased cost to our own customers.

This is how Measure 97 is a stealth sales tax:

Nonpartisan, independent state economists analyzed Measure 97 and determined it would increase costs for all Oregonians by an average of $600 each and every year in the form of higher prices for everything we buy. There would be no exemptions to Measure 97’s tax.

And what do we get for this stealth sales tax? We don’t know. Despite how the ballot summary is worded, Measure 97 does not guarantee the tax revenues would go to schools, healthcare or anything else. It would all go into the General Fund. Even the state government’s nonpartisan Legislative Counsel determined that the legislature could spend the money however it wants. It is a blank check for the politicians and bureaucrats, with no accountability to the public.

Vote NO on this stealth sales tax.

(This information furnished by Melody J. Harrison, President, Deli Store.)


Argument in Opposition

I grew up farming in Central Oregon’s high desert when my family moved here in 1989. After I graduated from OSU, I left for graduate school at Georgetown University, earning a Master’s in Economics and Public Policy. I worked in D.C. for nearly eight years, met and married my wife, and started a family. But the lure of life on the farm brought us back to Oregon. Today our family farm grows hybrid carrot seed, bluegrass seed, peppermint oil, wheat and hay.

I oppose Measure 97. Here's why:

Well-intentioned policies can sometimes have dramatic and damaging unintended consequences. That’s the case with Measure 97. It would put a new state tax on sales of goods and services in Oregon.

Promoters of the measure want us to think businesses won’t pass on this tax to consumers. But that’s ridiculous! It is a basic economic fact that some—in many cases most—of the cost of the tax will be passed on to consumers in the price of goods and services. As a consequence, the tax would increase every Oregon family’s costs for food, gas, electricity, insurance—even medicine. And, it would hurt farm families even worse—by making us pay more for supplies, fuel, transportation and equipment. In fact, it is likely to be low income families and small businesses, such as our family farm, who will bear the largest burden of the tax, as we have limited options to purchase goods and services elsewhere and we operate on tight household budgets and slim profit margins.

What’s more, the tax could have devastating long-term economic consequences as Oregon becomes less attractive for businesses to locate and create stable jobs. And, as household budgets are squeezed ever tighter, it will be more and more difficult to attract the reliable labor force necessary to support Oregon’s vital industries, such as agriculture.

Please join farmers statewide and vote NO on Measure 97.

(This information furnished by Kevin L. Richards, Farmer.)


Argument in Opposition

Oregon newspapers confirm Measure 97 would increase consumer costs

Portland Tribune, 8/11/16
“That’s why the Legislative Revenue Office has projected that two-thirds of this consumption tax — $2 billion per year — will be passed on to Oregon consumers via higher prices, disproportionately hitting lower-income Oregonians.”

Bend Bulletin 7/31/16
“Measure 97 socks it to the poor. It’s going to have a regressive impact on consumers, meaning it is going to hit the poor the hardest. It could tax some goods over and over again as they move through the production process.

Measure 97 is so rich in faults it deserves to fail.”

Coos Bay The World, 8/9/16
“Companies cover expenses by increasing revenues. The easiest way to increase revenues is to raise prices to customers. That effectively turns this measure into a sales tax by another name.

Even as a sales tax, it’s flawed. Consumers won’t have the ability to make purchasing choices based on whether or not they want to pay the tax because it’s effectively hidden.

Measure 97 is a back-door method of prying more revenues out of individual hard-working Oregonians, not big corporations.”

Forest Grove News Times, 8/10/16
“But this tax [Measure 97] far, far exceeds what’s needed and puts an unnecessary burden on all Oregonians.

Proponents of the measure are no fools. They know that it’s easier to sell something when the buyers think they don’t have to pay for it.

So, they structured a deceptive money measure …”

Upper Rogue Independent, 8/15/16
“’Corporate taxes’ are really paid by individuals, including consumers in the form of higher prices, employees in the form of lower compensation, and owners in the form of lower profits.

Consumers will see price increases that in many cases will be much more than the stated 2.5 percent rate, without having any idea that the cause is Measure 97. As such, Measure 97 is the epitome of a regressive tax, and Oregonians should oppose it.”

Read more at www.FactsAbout97.com

(This information furnished by Rebecca Tweed, Defeat the Tax on Oregon Sales.)


Argument in Opposition

Employee-Owned Grocery Store Opposed to Measure 97

Newport Avenue Market is all about local. Keeping it local means we support our local neighborhoods and our local producers. Measure 97 concerns us because of its negative local impacts on our community and our customers.

We’ve been located on the West end of beautiful Bend for over 20 years, but my dad started the business in 1976. As Central Oregon’s first employee-owned grocery store, we wouldn’t be taxed directly by Measure 97 like our bigger competitors. But Measure 97 would raise our costs, potentially more than what big stores would end up paying.

Most of what we sell comes from food or beverage distributors that are among the large corporations Measure 97 would tax. When their costs rise, prices they charge us go up. That means prices our customers pay would also go up.

The devious design of Measure 97 taxes sales, not profits. It raises prices people pay for groceries and other goods and services without showing up on customers’ receipts. It’s a hidden sales tax.

Our big competitors operate their own distribution systems. They don’t depend, like we do, on independent distributors and suppliers. So products our large competitors sell may be taxed only once, while the same products we sell might have been taxed multiple times. That puts us at a competitive disadvantage.

While proponents say Measure 97 will only impact large, out-of-state corporations, we aren’t a large, out-of-state corporation. We’re a neighborhood store and Measure 97 will hurt our business, and raise the prices our customers pay to buy their groceries. Everyone in our community will be hurt by Measure 97 when prices rise for groceries and other everyday essentials they need – utilities, insurance, health care, clothes, gasoline, even prescriptions.

Thank you for considering our concerns about Measure 97.

Find out more at FactsAbout97.com, and please join us in voting NO on Measure 97.

(This information furnished by Lauren G. Johnson, Leader of the Pack (Vrrrooom!)/CEO, Newport Ave. Market.)


Argument in Opposition

Economics Professor Examines Measure 97

I earned a doctorate in economics focused on public finance. Measure 97 would damage Oregon’s economy and shift its heaviest burden to those Oregon consumers least able to pay the higher costs it would create.

Who would pay the tax? According to the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis study reported in The Oregonian (6/8/16), about one in four C Corporations that would be directly taxed by Measure 97 are headquartered in Oregon. Economists in the Legislative Revenue Office estimated that 2/3 of the tax would end up being paid by Oregon consumers through higher prices for goods and services such as groceries, gas, utilities, medicine, insurance and health care. Legislative Revenue Officer Paul Warner told House Revenue Committee members: “About two-thirds of that tax ends up in the form of higher prices.” (5/23/16)

What’s wrong with the tax? Measure 97 is a so-called “gross receipts tax” or “GRT.” GRTs like Measure 97 tax sales, not profits. Companies with small profits and even those losing money still have to pay the tax. Only five states have GRTs, and Measure 97’s tax rate would be the highest by far.

Another major problem with GRTs is pyramiding, meaning the tax is imposed at multiple levels in the supply chain. A product may have been taxed multiple times before finally reaching the consumer.

Finally, GRTs like Measure 97 are regressive, meaning the burden is greater on lower income households than upper income households.

Where would new revenues go? The short answer is, no one knows. Despite how the ballot summary is worded, Measure 97 does not actually guarantee where new revenues would be spent. Revenues would go to the General Fund and, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Counsel, legislators could spend the money however they want. There is no plan and no accountability for how revenues would be used.

Measure 97 is flawed tax policy. I recommend a NO vote.

(This information furnished by Gerard Mildner, Economist and Professor, Portland, Oregon.)


Argument in Opposition

Just Say No to Measure 97…the Hidden Sales Tax on Steroids

More reasons to Vote NO on Measure 97:
CascadePolicy.org/Measure97

(This information furnished by Steve Buckstein, Cascade Policy Institute.)


Argument in Opposition

Measure 97 will hurt Oregon families – Vote NO on Measure 97!

As the former Co-Chair of our Legislature’s Ways and Means Budget Committee, I believe voters should know Measure 97 will create real hardships for Oregon families.

Measure 97 will NOT create additional dollars for Education, Healthcare, or Seniors.

While Legislators must use new Measure 97 taxes for education, seniors, and healthcare, existing funds can be redirected elsewhere, resulting in no increased education or healthcare spending.

Measure 97 will place UNFAIR BURDENS on low-income single-moms and seniors.

Measure 97 will drastically cut into household budgets of low-income families and seniors.

Legislative Revenue Office estimates Measure 97 will cost every man, woman, and child in Oregon an average of $600 per person, per year. For a family of four, this average of $2,400 will result in higher costs of groceries, gas, utilities, and many other necessities.

My daughter is a single-mom of three, and I know how Measure 97 will affect mothers and children struggling to get by. Women already experience an income gap, so single mothers will be especially hard-hit by this back-door sales tax.

Measure 97 guarantees employers will lay workers off and will devastate families who live paycheck-to-paycheck. Most families I know won’t be able to afford dramatic cost of living increases.

The real question voters should ask:

Where are our tax dollars going?

State government wasted nearly $2 BILLION dollars on Cover Oregon, the Columbia River Crossing, the State Radio Project, and tax credits for special interests.

Oregon’s Audits Division must do a better job of exposing wasteful government spending!

Increasing accountability and transparency results in better management decisions. Savings can be redirected to critical services like foster care, education, public safety, and infrastructure.

Passing this massive tax onto Oregon families and seniors is not the answer.

We can do better!

Please Vote NO on Measure 97!

Sincerely,

Dennis Richardson
Former Six-Term Oregon Legislator
2016 Candidate for Oregon Secretary of State

(This information furnished by Dennis Richardson, 2016 Candidate for Secretary of State.)


Argument in Opposition

THE NATION’S LARGEST CORPORATION
ARE SPENDING MILLIONS TO OPPOSE MEASURE 97

One of the best ways to understand Measure 97 is to learn the facts behind the corporations that are paying to oppose the measure:

As of August 22, 2016, $6.2 million was collected by the campaign to defeat Measure 97.

About one-half of that money [$3,108,142] came from just 24 corporations.

About one-third of all money [$1,900,450] came from only 11 companies in 5 industries:

The largest direct corporate contributions have come from:

[INFORMATION COMPILED FROM OFFICIAL FILINGS WITH OREGON SECRETARY OF STATE ELECTIONS DIVISION]

MEASURE 97 FACTS:

(This information furnished by Shamus Lynsky, Large Out-of-State Corporations Should Pay Their Fair Share in Taxes.)


Argument in Opposition

I Want Education for Every Oregon Child So I’m Voting NO on Measure 97

Our children deserve access to an equitable public education. Unfortunately, Measure 97 gets us no closer to this goal. And that’s why I’m voting NO.

Measure 97 is a $6 billion tax proposal and if passed, would be the largest tax increase in Oregon history.

What does that mean for middle-class folks like me? It means higher prices for electricity, groceries, gas, and medical expenses. Because of the compounded nature of the tax – which taxes sales, not profits – businesses will be left with no choice but to either raise prices, cut jobs, or both.

Here’s what’s most important: I’m voting no because the measure does absolutely nothing to ensure students and schools get the resources they need. There is no plan, measurements for success, or investment strategies for the projected $6 billion.

My commitment to education takes a back seat to nobody. My life’s work has been about supporting people to reach their fullest potential. I advocate for people with disabilities, and volunteer countless hours as the board chair of the Multnomah Education Service District.

And I’m a nonprofit Executive Director. Beyond the impacts on our families and economy, there are serious negative impacts looming for the nonprofit sector. Just as costs will go up for businesses who pass it along to customer, the operating costs for nonprofits will rise as well.

Where will we find the revenue to account for these rising costs? Surely we won’t pass it along to our undeserved clients?

Measure 97 fails every test of reasonableness, and as a school board chair, it fails the most important test of all: it makes false promises with no plan that our students and schools will get anything. It is the wrong solution for the very real problems we face.

Make the right choice. Vote NO on Measure 97.

Stephen Marc Beaudoin

Board Chair, MESD

(This information furnished by Stephen M. Beaudoin, Board Chair, Multnomah Education Service District.)


Argument in Opposition

Oregon Family Farmer
and Mother of Two Young Boys Opposes Measure 97

I’m the third generation of our family to manage our 1,000-acre farm in St. Paul. We grow grass seed, hazelnuts, crimson clover, wheat, vegetables and vegetable seeds.

Family farming is our heritage, but it’s also a business. So my biggest question about Measure 97 was how will it affect our farm. Backers claim only big, out-of-state companies will pay the tax. I learned that isn’t true.

Measure 97 would raise our costs to operate our farm – and raise the cost of living for all Oregonians.

We wouldn’t pay Measure 97 taxes directly. We’re too small. But the farm equipment and farm supply companies we buy from are large enough to pay the Measure 97 tax. Their sales may be over $25 million a year, but they have razor thin profit margins. They can’t absorb the cost of Measure 97 without raising prices they charge farmers like us.

Measure 97 would raise our costs for equipment, fuel, crop protection, insurance, electricity, seeds, fertilizer and other supplies we need. And like every Oregon household, we would also feel the pinch of Measure 97 on prices we pay for our family’s everyday essentials – utilities, medicine, gasoline, clothing, insurance, housing and health care.

The economists for the Oregon Legislature called Measure 97 “regressive” because the higher prices it would trigger would cost lower income Oregonians a greater percentage of their income than high-income earners. That bothers me because I know that Oregon’s farming and rural communities have lower average incomes and higher rates of poverty than urban areas.

Our sons aren’t yet old enough for school, but like every mom I want good schools for my boys and support a balanced solution to funding schools. But Measure 97 is too costly and too damaging to Oregon.

Please join me in voting No on Measure 97. We can do better.

(This information furnished by Brenda J. Frketich, Farmer, Kirsch Family Farms.)


Argument in Opposition

AMERICA’S BIGGEST CORPORATIONS OPPOSE MEASURE 97

Measure 97 raises taxes only on corporations doing more than $25 million in sales in Oregon.

That is why many of the largest corporations in the nation have contributed at least $25,000 to the No on 97 campaign. Here are just some of them:

Comcast Cable

CenturyLink

Walmart Stores, Inc.

Equilon Enterprises LLC (Shell Oil)

Phillips 66

Standard Insurance

Liberty Mutual Insurance Company

American Family Insurance Group

Progressive Casualty Insurance Company

State Farm Mutual Insurance Auto Insurance Company

Farmers Insurance

U.S. Bank

Wells Fargo

Amazon

General Motors

Core-Mark International Inc.

Natural Gas Political Action Committee

Boise Cascade Company

Weyerhaeuser Company

International Paper

Cargill, Inc.

Sysco Corporation

Johnson & Johnson

Waste Connections, Inc.

Waste Management

To see a full list visit: https://secure.sos.state.or.us/orestar

[CONTRIBUTION INFORMATION IS FROM THE OREGON SECRETARY OF STATE ELECTION DIVISION, 8/29/2016]

(This information furnished by Shamus Lynsky, Large Out-of-State Corporations Should Pay Their Fair Share in Taxes.)


Argument in Opposition

Why Are Government Employee Unions Sponsoring Measure 97?

True or False?: All $6 Billion of the new taxes from Measure 97 will go to fund education, healthcare, and senior services.

FALSE. Only a Constitutional Amendment can guarantee expenditures on particular programs (called earmarks). Measure 97 is a statutory measure and cannot force the legislature to spend the money in a certain way. The Ballot Title is nothing more than an empty promise intended to lure voters. It is a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Why Measure 97? Oregon’s Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) oversees retirement funds for more than 900 state and local governments in Oregon and pays pension government employees. PERS investment earnings have failed to keep pace with the cost of guaranteed retirement benefits and the most recent estimate by PERS actuaries says the system is more than $21 Billion underfunded.** Some people and newspaper editorials*** have called Measure 97 “the PERS Bailout Tax.” They say the the government unions are promoting the measure as a new source of funds for schools, healthcare and senior services, but the real reason they are pushing it is to bail out PERS

25% Tax Increase: Rather than increasing their own contributions to their PERS accounts, government employees are sponsoring Measure 97 to convince Oregonians that their pension problems are the fault of "out-of-state corporations" in order to sell a hidden sales tax that will cost Oregon taxpayers $6 Billion dollars every two years. This is a 25% tax increase for the General Fund paid for by Oregon consumers.

Don't be fooled. Measure 97 is a hidden sales tax on Oregonians not out-of-state corporations.

Please find out more at FactsAbout97.com and join us in voting NO.

Oregon Constitution, Article IV section 1

**OregonLive, November 28, 2015

*** The Daily Astorian, July 7, 2016

(This information furnished by Joe Gilliam, President, Northwest Grocery Association.)


Argument in Opposition

Why Our Family-Owned Central Oregon Business Opposes Measure 97

Ochoco Lumber has been part of the Oregon community for the past 94 years. While Measure 97 doesn’t impact us directly, we know our company will pay more for nearly all products and services that we purchase to keep our family business running.

Our employees and customers are Oregon consumers, who would face an average increase in costs of $600 per year per household for everyday items we purchase. This would be very hard on working families.

Measure 97 takes Oregon in the wrong direction. Taxing sales instead of profits makes this a regressive tax, hurting those in our communities who can least afford it. Study after study—including one funded by Measure 97’s sponsors themselves—have concluded that lower income households will experience a higher tax burden as a percentage of their income than higher income households. That’s simply unfair.

Our company is committed to economic development in the communities where we do business. Job growth is critical to a strong economy. Measure 97 threatens over 38,000 private-sector jobs, according to the state Legislative Revenue Office. Even an economic study funded by the sponsors of Measure 97 predicted the loss of tens of thousands of jobs.

Measure 97 should be rejected because it’s unreasonable. It increases costs for ALL Oregonians, dampens our economy and will significantly stunt job growth. In the forest management industry, we are believers in sustainability. Measure 97 is poor tax policy that isn’t sustainable for Oregon.

Please vote NO on Measure 97.

(This information furnished by Bruce Daucsavage, President, Ochoco Lumber Company.)


Argument in Opposition

Economic development groups: Measure 97 is bad for Oregon’s economy

The Oregon Economic Development Association is a statewide non-profit organization working to create a balanced, prosperous and robust Oregon economy.

Our organization has taken a position in opposition to Measure 97, the costly and damaging $6 billion tax on Oregon sales. Our opposition is fueled by the concern of economic development professionals across the state that Measure 97 will hurt their ability to recruit and retain businesses that help create economic vitality in their communities.

Taxes sales, not profits

The prospect of companies being forced to pay taxes on sales rather than profits hampers economic development. Measure 97 would create the largest corporate tax on sales in the nation. This notoriety would have chilling effects for development of new or expanding businesses in our state.

Job losses

Another troubling component to Measure 97 is future job losses. An in-depth study by the state’s independent Legislative Revenue Office recently concluded that this giant tax increase would result in over 38,000 lost jobs in Oregon. We should not derail the progress that we’ve made to rebuild our economy.

No accountability

Our association is keenly aware and supportive of the need for ample funding for education. Oregon public schools produce the workforce of the future. Despite how the ballot summary is worded, Measure 97 does not guarantee the revenues from the new tax would go to schools, healthcare or anything else. It would all go into the General Fund, and the state government’s nonpartisan Legislative Counsel has determined that the legislature could spend the money however it wants. It is a blank check for the politicians and bureaucrats, with no accountability to the public.

Measure 97 is an empty promise that would reverse our state’s economic development gains, slash job growth and increase costs for all Oregonians.

To learn more, please visit www.Factson97.com.

(This information furnished by Jon Stark, Vice President, Board of Directors, Oregon Economic Development Association.)


Argument in Opposition

Oregon Truckers urge NO vote on Measure 97: Too costly to consumers

For more than 75 years, members of the Oregon Trucking Association have been bringing products to businesses in Oregon. We’re committed to keeping stores stocked and ready for Oregon consumers. We pride ourselves on being an integral part of our economy and serving all Oregonians.

Our association is strongly opposed to Measure 97’s reckless tax. Proponents repeatedly claim that it’s aimed at large, out-of-state corporations.

They’re wrong.

Measure 97 impacts all businesses in Oregon, large and small. In fact, Measure 97 is far more damaging for small businesses than for large companies. Measure 97 would make it even harder for Oregon-based businesses to compete with the big national chains.

Big chains make, distribute and sell their own products, so those products would be subject to a single 2.5% tax. Local businesses often get products through independent manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors who would each pay the 2.5% tax. Local businesses and their customers would face a tax on a tax on a tax, causing costs for some products to go up by 7.5% percent or even more.

This explains why our state’s economists refer to Measure 97 as a “consumption tax.” This measure does not tax profits, it taxes sales, and it will end up being paid by Oregon consumers through higher prices on nearly everything we buy, costing the average household over $600 each and every year.

It could easily be referred to as a “stealth sales tax.” Measure 97 would make it more expensive to deliver products to Oregon’s family farms, small businesses, and local shops – a price you pay at the checkout line. This is in large part due to the increased taxes on fuel, which drives up our costs significantly.

Measure 97 isn’t about large, out-of-state corporations. It hits small businesses and consumers in a way that we have never seen in our state.

Please join us in voting NO.

(This information furnished by Jana Jarvis, President Oregon Trucking Associations.)