Testimony before the Senate General Government, Consumer and Small Business Protection Committee in favor of House Bill 2825 A
Chair Shields and members of the Committee, my name is Steve Buckstein. I’m Senior Policy Analyst and founder of Cascade Policy Institute, a non-partisan, non-profit public policy research organization based in Portland. Our mission is to promote policies that enhance individual liberty, personal responsibility and economic opportunity in Oregon.
It’s not often that I testify in favor of proposed legislation in this building. More often than not I’m in the minority, arguing against new laws, taxes or regulations.
Today, I’m happy to join with a diverse group of people and organizations asking you to add relevant information and results of select tax expenditures to the Oregon transparency website.
I know that we will have disagreements about individual economic development tax expenditure programs. In my case, I don’t believe that the state should be “picking winners and losers” through such programs in the first place. Either way, I hope we can all agree that as long as such programs do exist, they should be transparent to your constituents.
The original transparency website legislation last session (HB 2500) resulted in a good start toward providing useful state financial information online. I believe that HB 2825 A this session takes a significant step forward in that process, and I urge you to support it.