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Ballot initiative aims to raise corporate tax, give Oregonians $750 per year

A Eugene group is collecting signatures for a 2020 ballot initiative that would raise the corporate tax rate on some of the largest businesses, with the money going back to Oregonians.

Posted: Oct 16, 2019 6:23 PM
Updated: Nov 13, 2019 4:58 AM

EUGENE, Ore. -- A Eugene group is collecting signatures for a 2020 ballot initiative that would raise the minimum corporate tax rate on some of the largest businesses, with the money going back to Oregonians.

The Oregon People's Rebate campaign wants to raise the minimum corporate tax rate to 2.5% on businesses that generate $25 million or more in Oregon revenue per year.

Group leader Lonnie Douglas said the state would send the extra money to every Oregonian adult and child in an annual rebate. He estimates that would be about $750 per person.

"We're hoping this will one, help Oregonians, some of whom are struggling with housing issues, seniors who are on fixed incomes and give them a little bit of help," said Douglas. "But the other thing we are hoping it will do is help stimulate our local economies."

Douglas said they've been working on this ballot initiative for over a year but just started collecting signatures last week. They will need to collect more than 112,000 valid signatures from across the state by July 2, 2020, to get it on the November 2020 ballot.

While Douglas said this tax increase won't impact small businesses, Charles Hibbard who owns Arma Coatings in Eugene said he's worried it could lead to higher prices. He also believes there are better ways to help people than by handing them a check.

"To open up opportunities for people is much more productive than trying to give them something for nothing," Hibbard said. 

Douglas said so far they collected between 500 and 1,000 signatures.

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