SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown says she will call a special session May 21 to seek a tax break for small businesses in the state.
Brown's Tuesday statement comes after she said she would seek to broaden eligibility for existing discounts for small businesses when she signed a measure blocking a different discount. That discount had been created as a ripple-effect of President Donald Trump's 2017 federal tax reform.
Republican state lawmakers objected to blocking the Trump plan's discount and had previously questioned whether the new plan would offer the same benefits.
Nonpartisan state economists have said most of the benefits would have flowed to the wealthy.
Governor Brown said the following regarding tax breaks for small businesses:
“An estimated 9,000 sole proprietorships could qualify and use this new opportunity to reinvest more of their profits into their businesses and employees. And with this new economic incentive many more could take advantage of the same tax break that larger businesses already enjoy. We’ve already seen the number of large companies that qualify increase since the pass-through law was first created just five years ago. Nine thousand may seem like a small number to some in Salem, but to these business owners and their employees, it makes a big difference."
Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 1528 in early April, effectively canceling out tax breaks for businesses from the recent Republican tax cuts. Democrats said that this bill was necessary to prevent corporations from doubling down on tax incentives that they already received, while Republicans called it an unfair attack on small businesses.
The May 21 special session would supposedly represent a Democrat-led attempt to work some tax breaks for small businesses back in, while cutting out larger corporations.
“It is universally acknowledged that these small businesses are treated unfairly as compared to their competitors in Oregon’s tax system. Because of this I look forward to working with the Legislature to get this addressed now, for the 2018 tax year," said Governor Brown.