In wake of the continued corporate delays and dodging on tax reform, we are supporting several ballot measures to ensure Oregon schools have the resources they need. These measures are designed to create a path to fully fund public education at the Quality Education Model (QEM), increase corporate accountability, and create a fairer tax system for Oregon families.
IP 27: Invest in Oregon’s Future
For decades, Oregon’s low corporate tax rates have forced our education system to be cut time and time again. Because large corporations aren’t paying their fair share, the brunt of the tax burden falls on Oregon families. This measure invests in K-12 and higher education by increasing taxes on big corporations and lowering taxes on every Oregonian.
Oregon’s low corporate taxes have starved our schools. After twenty-five years of underfunding and disinvestment, cracks are starting to show. Oregon has the country’s third largest class sizes and one of the shortest school years. At the same time, cuts in higher education at all levels have made Oregon’s public community colleges and universities increasingly unaffordable. Tuition costs have surged far past the rate of inflation — Oregon families deserve true opportunity and ability to access higher education. IP 27 provides that opportunity by making the tax system fairer — it increases Oregon’s low corporate taxes just for businesses with more than $5 million in annual sales, raising $3 billion in new revenue for K-12 and higher education. At the same time, this measure cuts personal income taxes for every Oregonian, balancing the burden of our tax code and investing in the education system we need.
Key Provisions of the Measure:
- Funds Oregon’s K-12 schools and higher education by dedicating a new corporate tax to the State School Fund and a fund dedicated solely to higher education.
- A new corporate minimum tax of 0.95 percent would be levied on Oregon corporations with sales above $5 million, raising $3 billion for schools every two years.
- Lowers taxes on every Oregonian by lowering the first bracket of personal income taxes from 5 percent to 3 percent and the second bracket of personal income taxes from 7 percent to 5 percent. This would save the average Oregon taxpayer hundreds of dollars a year.
IP 26: Oregon’s Kids Deserve Quality Schools
Oregon’s Quality Education Model (QEM) defines the cost of fully funding Oregon schools. For decades, Oregon has underfunded its K-12 schools, spending billions less than the constitutionally defined level of quality. IP 26 restores the Legislature’s power to fully fund our education system by allowing simple majorities to raise corporate taxes to meet the Quality Education Model and give our students the schools they deserve.
We can all think of our favorite teacher when we were kids. And we all know what makes a good school — passionate educators, enough school supplies, a safe and productive learning environment, and one-on-one time and attention to ask questions. Oregonians have waited long enough for the schools our students deserve. Our state’s Constitution already requires the legislature to fully fund our education system but unfortunately, there’s no way to enforce this requirement. That gives big corporations and a minority of legislators a free pass to take advantage of the process. IP 26 gives the Oregon Legislature the power they need to fully fund our schools. Parents and community leaders will finally have the power to require the Legislature to fund schools, and the Legislature will also have the ability, with a simple majority vote, to increase corporate taxes to meet the Quality Education Model standard. This measure gives power back to Oregon voters. It ends a generation of disinvestment for Oregon’s schools. And it allows all of us to restore fairness in our tax code by making big corporations pay their fair share in taxes to support our students and move Oregon forward.
Key Provisions of the Measure:
- Maintains the Legislature’s autonomy to make funding and budget decisions.
- Requires funding at the Quality Education Model level, which is currently defined in the Oregon Constitution.
- If QEM funding is not reached, a Court may issue an injunction to require full funding of the QEM.
- Allows the Legislature, by a simple majority vote, to increase funding for schools by raising corporate taxes if QEM funding is not reached.
IP 25: Corporate Accountability and Transparency Petition
To require publicly traded corporations to provide to the Secretary of State a public report of their Oregon taxes.
Oregon’s corporate taxes are the lowest in the country — corporations make billions in Oregon, but they pay fewer taxes here than any other state. The result? Oregon’s families and small businesses pay more than their fair share in taxes and our schools and basic family services are underfunded. IP 25 brings truth to the debate about corporate taxes by requiring publicly traded corporations in Oregon to reveal the same tax information about their state taxes as they do for federal taxes.
Key provisions of the measure:
- Requires companies that must report their federal taxes to report their state taxes to the Secretary of State.
- The reports would be made public on a website.
- The required information would mirror what these companies provide to the federal government and would not require companies to gather additional data.
- There would be a penalty, limited by the size of the company, and capped at $1 million for not reporting.
- The reports would include not just taxes owed, but also tax credits.
- The information would be delayed by three years to make sure that “company secrets” are not revealed by tax decisions.