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Governor Brown Will Sign Controversial Tax Bill

Democrats have heralded the bill as a way to prevent Oregon businesses from 'double-dipping' with tax breaks, while Republicans are calling it a tax hike.

Posted: Apr. 6, 2018 3:08 PM
Updated: Apr. 6, 2018 3:27 PM

By TOM JAMES , Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said Friday she'll call a special legislative session before the end of June to broaden certain tax breaks.

Brown made the announcement when she also said she would sign a controversial measure passed by her fellow Democrats in the Legislature that was designed keep Oregon from losing more than $200 million as a result of President Donald Trump's federal tax overhaul. Unlike most other states Oregon's coffers were due to take a hit because of President Donald Trump's tax plan, due to a quirk in the way the state figures federal deductions for state tax purposes.

"We anticipate a one-day special session," said Brown, who added that she had already been in conversation with legislative leaders about the move.

The goal, said Brown, will be to expand the list of small businesses eligible for preferential treatment under Oregon's state tax laws. Brown described broadening the move as a way to balance out a different bonus that would be blocked under the state tax bill.

Republicans opposed the state tax bill, SB 1528, saying it amounted to a tax hike on mostly small businesses. In announcing her endorsement of the measure Brown said she would call lawmakers back to Salem to extend lower tax rates for a group of small businesses known as sole proprietors.

Brown said she will convene the session by the end of June. A representative for Brown said she will sign 1528 next week.

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