One of Oregon’s oldest and most respected business organizations says the 2019 Oregon Legislature should raise personal and corporate taxes — if lawmakers also rein in the cost of benefits to public employees.

The offer is extended by the Oregon Business Council in the 2018 Oregon Business Plan, the most recent version of its annual proposed state business blueprint. It looks favorably at the Legislature diverting state “kicker” tax refunds into a reserve fund and enacting a “business activities tax” on corporate revenues, minus purchases from other firms.

But, the plan said, such revenue increases will do little good unless the Legislature also curtails projected Public Employee Retirement System premium increases that will consume much of them. According to the plan, the PERS burden is expected to double over the next four years.

“Oregonians should not experience rising taxes and prices simply to pay for added PERS costs,” says the plan, which also calls state employee health care costs too high.

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