On Tuesday I joined my cohorts of the Taxpayer Return on Investment Coalition to talk to legislators about our TRIA bill, HB 2087.
Our bill is focuses on making sure the taxpayer funded investments through SIPS, tax credits, grants et al are carefully monitored to make sure we get the “biggest bang” for our taxpayer buck. This requires more transparency and a more robust accounting of how our money is spent.
The key question is are subsidies for corporate Oregon which result in property and income tax reductions for them producing the high quality jobs that are promised and helping local communities navigate a global economy or are they draining money from basic services?
In meeting with House members it became clear that legislators on both sides of the political aisle want to get more transparency and accountability when it comes to doling out millions of Oregon taxpayer dollars to corporate Oregon.
In the afternoon we attended a hearing in the House Revenue Committee on three bills dealing with SIPS – Oregon’s strategic investment program managed by Business Oregon the executive branch agency charged with developing this program.
SIPS are the biggest tax abatement program in Oregon.
HB 2672 Requires each county in which exempt strategic investment program property is located to certify to Oregon State Lottery Commission amount of property tax that school districts within county do not receive due to strategic investment program.
HB 2084 Indexes minimum total costs of eligible project to increase in U.S. City Average Consumer Price Index since 1993.
HB 2098 Limits property tax exemption under strategic investment program to real property, other than land and buildings, and personal property.