Prosperity or Portland?

Steve BucksteinDowntown Portland

Remove Portland’s Business Income Tax to improve the city’s economy


The City of Portland is widely perceived as being anti-business. Stubbornly high unemployment rates and higher business taxes than surrounding communities feed this perception. Phasing out the city’s Business Income Tax (BIT) will do more than anything else to turn this perception around and improve the city’s economic climate. This can be done over the next five years without damaging city finances through a combination of contracting out some non-public safety services and slowing growth in personnel costs.

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About the author: Steve Buckstein helped found Cascade Policy Institute in January 1991, and served as its president until 2004. As a senior policy analyst he writes and speaks both in Oregon and nationally on a range of policy issues including economic development, education reform, taxation and budgets, and Social Security reform. Prior to founding Cascade, Steve served on the board of Oregonians for Cost-effective Government, and he was a candidate for Oregon State Treasurer in 1988. Born and raised in Portland, Steve earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physics and a Masters in Business Administration, both from Oregon State University. Prior to founding Cascade, he worked for nineteen years as an investment broker in Portland.

The views expressed herein are the author’s own.

About Cascade Policy Institute: Founded in 1991, Cascade Policy Institute is Oregon’s premier policy research center. Cascade’s mission is to explore and promote public policy alternatives that foster individual liberty, personal responsibility and economic opportunity. To that end, the Institute publishes policy studies, provides public speakers, organizes community forums and sponsors educational programs. Cascade Policy Institute is a tax-exempt educational organization as defined under IRS code 501(c)(3). Cascade neither solicits nor accepts government funding, and is supported by individual, foundation and business contributions. Nothing appearing in this document is to be construed as necessarily representing the views of Cascade or its donors, or as an attempt to aid or hinder the passage of any bill before any legislative body. The views expressed herein are the author’s own. Copyright 2005 by Cascade Policy Institute. All rights reserved.

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