an>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.

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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.

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