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Oregon Business Taxes: Facts, Perspectives, and Commentary

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Steve Duin’s column in today’s Oregonian (8/24/10) points us to an interesting report on the Oregon business climate:

Taxes feel different here, Monday, August 23, 2010, Steve Duin, The Oregonian

Excerpt: “Politicians, economist Joe Cortright says, tend to view recessions as Greek tragedies: “If something bad is happening in the Oregon economy, it’s because the gods are punishing us for our sins.”

They go all Antigone or Oedipus on us, bemoaning the lack of jobs or the abundance of regulations, rather than acknowledging, Cortright notes, “that this is the worst recession the nation has experienced since the Great Depression, and that might have something to do with what’s happening in Oregon….

Hoping to season those perceptions with some perspective, cooler business heads have unfurled a white paper titled, “
Is the Grass Really Greener in Other States?”

Authored by John Calhoun, the paper was inspired by Calhoun’s experiences with his Nevada-based property evaluation business (a limited partnership on which he pays Oregon taxes). “There was all this talk in the media about how much worse Oregon was for business,” he said. “Looking at all the empty buildings and distressed property in Reno, I knew that wasn’t true in Nevada.

“Oregon isn’t working in a vacuum, or in isolation,” Calhoun says. “All the surrounding states have the same problems. In some cases, they are worse than ours.”

Analysis by the Council on State Taxation bears that out….” (Read full Duin column.)

Direct link to report, from the Oregon Biz website: “Is the Grass Really Greener in Other States? An Oregon Perspective.”

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