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“Visit but don’t stay” turns into “Come and pay more”

Steve BucksteinQuickPoint!

[audio:QuickPoint 1-13-10.mp3]

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The fates of tax Measures 66 and 67 are now in the hands of Oregon voters. Part of the campaign has revolved around the assertion by the “Yes” side that Oregon charges corporations too little to do business here.

Among its other features, Measure 67 will increase the fee to incorporate most businesses from $50 to $100. But there is an exception. If the business is already incorporated in another state, then its owners must pay, not $100, but $275 for the privilege of transacting business in Oregon.

A company doing business in another state is known in the statutes as a “foreign” entity. So not only will Measure 67 raise the cost of doing business in Oregon, it will raise it even higher if you made the mistake of starting out doing business someplace else.

Proponents of Measures 66 and 67 are quick to debunk the concern that higher taxes on business and business owners will cause them to leave the state. But now we learn that at least one feature of Measure 67 will discourage them from even coming here in the first place.

Perhaps this is the new iteration of Governor Tom McCall’s famous, or infamous, statement made to a national TV audience on January 12, 1971: “Come visit us again and again. But for heaven’s sake, don’t come here to live.”

If voters pass Measure 67, we might as well say the same thing to every job-creator in the country.

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