We believe everyone can and should succeed in Oregon’s economy, but right now, too few Oregonians are thriving and meeting their potential. Our economy does not work for most families because we simply do not have the revenue we need to support Oregon schools, critical services, and infrastructure. This is not a new problem. For more than a generation, Oregon has made cuts to schools and services, limiting the opportunity of ordinary Oregonians and undermining our future — just to make budgets balance.
While Oregon families are doing their part to try and address these disparities, the largest corporations doing business in Oregon are not paying their fair share. Oregon ranks at the bottom in the country in business taxes. With business taxes so low, Oregon simply does not have the resources to adequately fund critical investments — and that lack of investment shows. While families throughout the state are struggling, the impact of inadequate investments is worst among rural communities and communities of color.
Oregon can and must do better. The A Better Oregon coalition has identified an estimated $6 billion in investments that will make Oregon a stronger, more prosperous state. We have also identified commonsense approaches to raising sustainable revenue that maintain the focus on making large corporations — and not Oregon families — pay for the services our communities need.
Our recommendations focus on investments, and not simply maintaining the status quo. Current budget shortfalls need to be filled, but simply keeping pace is clearly not enough. In addition to addressing immediate needs, we call on legislators to take action to undo decades of disinvestment.
A Better Oregon is committed to ending the cycle of disinvestment. Despite the challenges and failures of the past, we believe there is a consensus that Oregon can be better and that everyone, including large corporations, are responsible for the health and vitality of our state. In the face of immediate budget cuts, and long-term instability, there is little doubt that reasonable revenues are needed to support the fundamental education, health, and opportunity for all Oregonians.