After a multi-year process to identify funding and investments in education, the Oregon House of Representatives passed on a vote of 37-21 a $2+ billion per biennium tax plan (House Bill 3427), where revenues would be dedicated for school districts grants (50 percent), early learning (30 percent), and statewide initiatives for student improvements (20 percent).

The bill is anticipated to make it to the Senate floor by the scheduled May 8 teacher strike.

As an attempt to find a middle ground between the long-discussed business activity tax and gross receipts tax, the amended bill creates a hybrid gross receipts tax. The tax plan would apply to businesses with at least $1 million in sales inside Oregon a tax rate of 0.57 percent (previously proposed at 0.49 percent), and would allow businesses to deduct 35 percent (previously proposed at 25 percent) of labor or capital costs from total sales to help offset pyramiding. The bill also reduces personal income taxes by .25 percent for the lowest three of the four state tax brackets.

This plan is estimated to bring in more than $2 billion per biennium, but impacts from the taxes would not be seen until the 2020-2021 school year as the first payments wouldn’t be received until 2020.

The bill also sets a local preemption on commercial activities taxes and receipts from grocery sales, and exempts franchise fees and taxes from the local preemption.

Contributed by: Megan Chuinard | Public Affairs Associate