Gov. Kate Brown is endorsing a ballot measure that would raise Oregon corporate taxes by $3 billion a year. The governor endorsed Measure 97 after months of staying neutral.
Brown says in a statement released by her campaign that the state needs the money to provide stable support for schools and other services. And she says there is a “basic unfairness” because corporations have a relatively low tax burden in Oregon.
The Democratic governor’s support was not unexpected since she is backed by public employee unions that largely financed the initiative.
The ballot measure levies a 2.5 percent tax on corporations with Oregon sales of more than $25 million a year. Businesses are fiercely opposed, saying it will hurt the economy and levy a hidden sales tax on consumers.
The tax fight is almost certain to be a major issue in the governor’s race. Republican nominee Bud Pierce calls the tax a “money grab” by state government.