Why should Nike get special treatment? What about the thousands of small businesses and family farms that are struggling to survive under Oregon’s burdensome taxes, regulations and bureaucracy? Don’t THEY deserve a break, too? Or do only Democrat cronies with friends in high places get the relief they need to expand, grow, and create jobs?
Under pressure from Nike, Gov. John Kitzhaber took the extraordinary step Monday of summoning lawmakers for a hurry-up special session to give the giant sportswear company greater tax certainty.
Doing so, Kitzhaber said, would spark a big expansion by Nike in Oregon. It’s unclear where the company plans to grow, but construction alone would tally $440 million, he said.
On Monday, Nike committed to spending at least $150 million and creating at least 500 jobs in Oregon — if the Legislature approves a tax-guarantee bill. Citing an independent economic analysis, Kitzhaber said the eventual spin-off could be 12,000 direct and indirect jobs over the next seven years and a $2 billion-a-year boost to Oregon’s economy.
“This is a huge win for the state of Oregon,” Kitzhaber said at a hastily arranged news conference at the Capitol.
Taxes have become a volatile issue in Oregon in recent years. Public employee unions, education activists and other groups have been pushing for cuts in business tax breaks to bring in more revenue to the state. Voters last month approved a law change that ends corporate “kicker” tax rebates, and the business community is wary about other efforts that might affect their tax bills.
Kitzhaber said Nike officials approached him more that a month ago to discuss the company’s expansion plans. Kitzhaber said they told him that Nike was being “heavily courted” by other states but wanted to stay in Oregon.
Funny how Kitzhaber doesn’t recognized that OTHER businesses are being “heavily courted” as well, simply by the fact that it’s a lot easier and cheaper to start a business in another state than in Oregon.
Unfortunately, instead of recognizing how their anti-business climate is driving business out of the state, Democrats single out Nike as a company they want to keep, and ignore the rest. No wonder our unemployment rate is among the highest in the nation!
I don’t blame Phil Knight for asking the governor to give assurances and incentives–that are still unclear–for large companies in Oregon.
But why are the Democrats falling all over themselves listening to him now?
Did they listen when Knight said of Measures 66 & 67,
“[they] should be labeled Oregon’s Assisted Suicide Law II. They will allow us to watch a state slowly killing itself. They are anti-business, anti-success, anti-inspirational, anti-humanitarian, and most ironically, in the long run, they will deprive the state of tax revenue, not increase it”?
No. Democrats conceived of the huge tax increases on individuals –giving Oregon the highest income tax in the land.Democrats went for the tax on gross receipts-–taking money for the state before a business even made money! Democrats engineered the referral to the people. Democrats’ money bought the ads which pushed the referenda through with both getting more than 53% of the vote.
NOW Democrats are listening to Phil Knight?
Did Democrats listen when business owners begged them not to send the automatic minimum wage initiative to the ballot because it would kill jobs? Did they listen when they were told that all their development fees, environmental overlays, regulations and check jacks would kill jobs?
Now they’re supposedly pro business? Pass the smelling salts, I’m getting a case of the vapors!
Cross posted at ThoughtsFromAConservativeMom.com