Survey: Support for Measure 97 corporate tax hike now doubles opposition

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Support for a tax increase to high-sales corporations in Oregon has grown to double those who oppose it, according to a new independent survey from DHM Research.

Data from the statewide survey show Oregonians strongly in favor of Measure 97, a 2.5 percent tax targeting corporations that do more than $25 million in sales. The ballot language indicates the revenue from the increase would benefit healthcare, education and senior service programs across the state, including public early childhood care programs.

According to the survey, 46 percent of Oregonians are "certain" to vote for the measure, and nearly six in 10 think large businesses don't pay their fair share of state taxes.

Though nearly a quarter of Republicans say they're sure to vote for Measure 97, the survey found a disparity in economic outlook across political lines. Half of surveyed Democrats believe the state's economy is improving, compared to 29 percent of Republicans who share that opinion.

See a full summary of the survey results here.

The measure would be the largest hike on corporations in Oregon history, according to the New York Times, bringing more new tax revenue to Oregon than any other state this year, relative to state budget.

Gov. Kate Brown endorsed the measure back in early August, supporting the labor unions and citing "basic unfairness" in Oregon's tax system -- specifically the lack of a state sales tax and reliance of personal income tax.

"State leaders before me have repeatedly tried and failed to solve the problem of adequate and stable funding for schools and other state services," Brown said. "Every solution has had strengths and weaknesses in terms of fairness and economic impact. None has succeeded in bringing the business community, individual and family taxpayers, service providers, and advocates together."

Those in favor and opposed to the tax have racked up a substantial total from their fundraising efforts. The group supporting the tax, Our Oregon, passed the $1.5 million mark in mid-August. The opposition group, Defeat the Tax on Oregon Sales, has pushed past $5 million on nearly 800 donations. Most contributions are from corporations or their executives, reported the Associated Press.

The tax would go into effect for the 2017 fiscal year.


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