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Jun-11-2009 07:01printcomments

Op Ed: Oregon’s Unfair
Corporate Taxes
Penalize Everyone

Evasion via “Tax-Breaks” Costs Citizens Billions Yearly.

tax loopholes book

(EUGENE, Ore.) - THIRTY-ONE FREELOADERS cost us all taxes from $1 million taxable incomes --via the ridiculous 70-year-old “$10 minimum”, in 2006. MORE THAN 5,000 Oregon corporations earning a profit here PAID NO CORPORATE INCOME TAX “beyond that measly ten dollars” in 2006.

Oregon corporations paid LESS STATE TAX in 2006 than they did A GENERATION AGO. TAX BREAKS now allow many Oregon profit-making corporations to pay ABOUT HALF what was then-due as an equitable share on their gains.

Intel, long No. 1 corporate tax-payer in Oregon, now sells its tax energy credits because its tax liability is so low. In former years Intel paid $50 millions for Oregon public services.

Fortunately, Oregon’s House legislators have now-- FINALLY !-- recognized the realistic problems facing our resplendent State in its education, college/university, and other public services, as well as in our too/long neglected, now-faltering fundamental foundations of all kinds across the entire state.

Despite the hampering and unfair three-quarters majority rule, seen widely now as allowing minority control of majority commonsense actions demanded by changing conditions, the House passed two bills to raise $733 million during 2009-11.

But the State faces $3.8 BILLION in budget shortfall, forcing desperate slashes in education, police and prison operations, college and university programs and access, safety-net services for unemployed and economically disadvantaged, and other public service components.

Current press reports state that business now pays about 38 percent of all Oregon state and local taxes -- seventh-lowest total nationally, with the average at 44.1 percent.

In Washington state, $30 million in retail business would require THREE TIMES the amount assessed in Oregon. The business-share in Oregon taxes has fallen steadily ever since 1971-73: from 10.9 percent of Oregon revenues to only 5.8 percent NOW.

That mirrors a national pattern observed by many astute close followers of crucial public issues, with the surprising downward drive attributed by many to the combined efforts of business/corporate lobbyists and the distortions of public understandings achieved by the notorious GOPster noise machine.

In Oregon, too, Measure 5 has been successful in transferring most of the costs of schools to the state income tax paid by citizens. Business formerly paid almost half of all local property taxes, long the major source for costs of education.

Oregonians can only hope that their ostensibly wiser and more experienced Senators will now also recognize and realize the absolute necessity of that simple two-parter principle so many have learned “the hard way”; even before this current exceptional and singular economic situation submerging the nation and the world as never before since the Great Depression.

That simple statement of unavoidable reality and what it demands for rational, reasonable action is: WE ARE WHERE WE ARE. and NOBODY GETS OUT. Some few, old enough and tough enough to have endured ever since “the Great One”, will perhaps still recognize that truism.

It was common in much public issue discussion then, leading on to what the New Deal accomplished by similar bold action now demanded for all of us --most definitely including our Legislature. We MUST act to preserve our vaunted and valued Oregon lifestyle and its future.

We MUST all share, as equitably as possible now, in what it takes to protect, preserve and provide the absolutely necessary components to return us to that pattern of prosperity we shared and enjoyed together for some certainly solacing decades.

No one can question the wit, will, and wisdom of both the Oregonian business community and our sensitive, sensible, informed and knowing citizens. That’s why so many Oregonians now confidently expect --and will continue to demand-- wise and sensitive action in the Senate --very soon!

Let it begin with such substantive action NOW that the people of Oregon will understand that their elected Representatives and Senators have taken good faith action in close, conscientious performance of their sworn obligations to act for the commonweal with their own best judgment.

That’s what we chose them to do. We need no second-shot at this problem; the only fair solution is neatly set forth in that old truism.


Check this article for background: Op Ed: 'SEVENTY YEARS' Corporate Dodgeball Far Too Much, Too Long - Henry Clay Ruark for


At 21, Henry Clay Ruark was Aroostook Editor for the Bango, Maine DAILY NEWS, covering upper 1/4 of the state. In the ‘40s, he was Staff Correspondent, then New England Wires Editor at United Press-Boston; later Editor for the Burlington, Vermont 3-daily group owned by Wm. Loeb, later notorious at Manchester, New Hampshire UNION LEADER for attacks on Democratic Presidential candidates.

Hank returned to Oregon to complete M. Ed degree at OSU, went on to Indiana University for Ed.D. (abd) and special other course-work; was selected as first Information Director for NAVA in Washington, D.C.; helped write sections of NDEA, first Act to supply math, science, foreign language consultants to state depts. of education; joined Oregon Dept. of Education as NDEA administrator/Learning Media Consultant for tenyears.

He joined Dr. Amo DeBernardis at PCC, helping establish, extend programs, facilities, Oregon/national public relations; moved to Chicago as Editor/Publisher of oldest educational-AV journal, reformed as AV GUIDE Magazine; then established and operated Learning Media Associates as general communications consultant group. Due to wife’s illness, he returned to Oregon in 1981, semi-retired, and has continued writing intermittently ever since, joining S-N in 2004. His Op Eds now total over 560 written since then.

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Corey Clearwater June 14, 2009 4:41 pm (Pacific time)

Henry could you show me how the "1800 pivotal tied-vote election debacle" applies to what I wrote below. What circumstance, condition or consequence would have to develop in the United States to make that applicable? Are you familiar with the Communist Manifesto? Do you see it's application being applied to recent state and federal legislation? I say to myself everyday, it seems, that I wish I didn't have to deal with my group health insurance. I wish I was on medicare, age 65 cannot come soon enough for me. Is medicare a good program that can replace private insurance for the 250 million who have it?

Henry Ruark June 13, 2009 5:54 pm (Pacific time)

To all: Attention Corey: "The jaws of power are always open to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing" -- John Adams ------------------- He was speaking directly to parallel situations encountered in the pivotal election of 1800.

Henry Ruark June 13, 2009 10:08 am (Pacific time)

To all: Here's "see with own eyes" re obvious description of C's ongoing approach, including memory failures and rapid role changes already detected by Editor: Dissemble (as in "disguise") v. : hide under a false appearance. Best possible answer to any such appearance is the simple fact of solid ID, supplied on request, surely an understood rule for this channel by now. We welcome honest dissent, but nobody today can deny the ongoing noise machine manipuliations underway in every public channel. See my ongoing comments re national-level investigation now known to be underway. We owe readers that constant surveillance called for in defense of freedoms by the Founders, and still highly pertinent in this unforgiving 21st Century surround, when it is entirely obvious the same attacks, driven by the same forces, for the same reasons, are still continuing and even heightening since the Nov. 4 vote.

Henry Ruark June 13, 2009 9:41 am (Pacific time)

Corey: Your dissembling statements re your personal approach here, and characterization of your own comments, strongly remind me of tone, spirit, and content between Founders during that pivotal 1800 tied-vote election debacle, which most historians now see as shaping our American true democracy. You are obviously unfamiliar with that desperate debacle, but may recall the name of Aaron Burr, the "sore loser" to Jefferson, whose soreness led to his assassination of Alexander Hamilton a bit later. He was indicted by two states, but fled Westward to dissolution there. For details see: "Adams and Jefferson: Tumultous Election of 1800";John Ferling; Oxford; 2004;ISBN 0-19-516771-6. It's amazing how long/lived and still relevant the same erroneous concepts, driven by the same contemptuous forces, can be made to seem that way in the present day. Have you read this book ? If NOT, seek it out for any wise response informed by its full content and approach. Still other books citable here do the same immutable reporting over the same points; ID self to Editor Tim with working phone, for complete list, just for you... Small charge to others since privilege offered has been abused,allasame as this open, honest,democratic channel too.

Henry Ruark June 12, 2009 10:07 am (Pacific time)

To all: Confusion here, caused by a continuing anomaly in eMac operation, left out full, proper professional credits due OCPP's Charles Sheketoff and The OREGONIAN columnist David Sarasohn, from whose insightful prior work basic information presented here was drawn. See OCPP "I Want Climate Change" published May 2009;and last Sunday's Edit Page Lead "Stop the moaning; Oregon"s tax system has been kind" for full insightful details.

Corey Clearwater June 12, 2009 10:00 am (Pacific time)

Editor I just recently came to your website having been told about it from a neighbor. I can easily see that many of your posters would be considered pretty liberal, or as now more commonly known, progressive. I must admit I do like Rep. Thatcher, having first heard of her political style a number of years ago. It seems that those in her district like her style also and return her to elective office. As far as some of the observations you made about her: 79% as per gallup and rasmussen polls want illegal immigrants dealt with, the Heller Decision last year by the U.S. Supreme Court overruled the politicans in DC and said that the 2nd Amendment also applies to DC residents. Pretty mainstream viewpoints. I would suggest that if cities, states or any political unit feels that they can overrule the 2nd Amendment, then how about all the other amendments? That is why the founders made it clear that the Bill of Rights was the law of the land, not to be subordinated without going through a very long national process to change. Imagine what some ruthless leaders could do with say the 1st Amendment? As far as guns on campus, that is in the courts to be solved sometime in the future. My guess is that anyway it goes there will be a ballot challenge to come in the future here in Oregon. Several states allow guns on campus now, for example Utah and Vermont (Texas soon?) and they have no gun crime to speak of. Did you know millions of guns have been sold since last November above and beyond normal sales averages and there has been no spike in gun crime as has been warned by the Brady people, Sen. Feinstein and other gun control organizations who opine that more gun sales would increase gun crime? Data shows law abiding people are nothing like the criminals who ignore laws anyway. Proof is in the evidence for all to see. Editor I simply have been posting in a friendly manner, giving comments that are essentially mainstream and have given source links when asked. I believe this is healthy for your site and helps stimulate debate and keeping ideas fresh and dynamic. The article you have about Green Energy jobs does also have a different side to it which I have posted, and as is layed out is a scientifically measured analysis. It might not be what many want to hear, but we have huge green models in Europe to look at. None have been very good. For example the majority of French electricity is nuclear and they have never had one person die, nor has there been any serious accidents. Our own Three Mile Island (back in the 70's) did not have a fatality and this part of the energy industry has made great safety strides. With over 300 million people we need power we can be assured that it will be there. I'm a big proponent for alternative clean energy, but we have to be realistic as to what the technology is and will it meet current energy demands now and in the future.

Editor: Corey, there is at least one individual who begins friendly and turns into the same old person after a few posts.  If that is not you then you will be fine here.

Henry Ruark June 11, 2009 6:49 pm (Pacific time)

To all:
  One of oldest propaganda acts in the whole book is to move rapidly to another Far Right advocate and cast out every possible kind of question requiring either an answer OR standing as further distraction.
  Dead giveaway is when any demand for documentation is summarly ignored and direct challenge for relay to an acknowledged expert is also so ignored.
  Any further question re good faith participation by "Corey" (et al, et al !!) in our open, honest, democratic dialog here devoted to sharing-learing from each other ?
  Would you trust this malign role-player with your son or daughter of vulnerable age ??

Corey Clearwater June 11, 2009 6:12 pm (Pacific time)

Actually I'm quite up to date on what's going on, but then that is just my opinion and I could be in error. Yes I did notice the "green jobs" report which is the complete opposite of a major Spanish University study that I posted on another article. Did you see it and go to the provided link? I hope the "green report" can turn into a rosy scenario down the line, and feel a good transparent national debate can go a long ways in attaining that objective. You agree? Frankly what I would like to see is our political leaders doing a lot more "under-promising and a lot more over-accomplishing." Anyway my accountant constantly keeps me a appraised of new tax laws/fees and what's coming down the pike. I sometimes need to take a breather, the changes are simply breathtakingly complex, but I catch up eventually, need to know how to protect my assets, many people depend on me. My last post did quote Rep. Kim Thatcher and her opinion about the latest tax increase. She is a very competent representative and she is also a small business owner who interacts with many other business owners, so she is a good voice for them and those in her district. As an actual business owner she is a rare commodity in regards to most of the other politicans in the legislature. Sharp lady and I hope she runs for a higher office, for we need competent balance for our political system. You agree?

Editor: We cover news releases sent out by Thatcher's office out of respect and to pass along information.  However if you examine her positions, she ic clearly a strong & strict proponent of hard right wing issues and her news releases usually relate to her efforts to fight illegal immigration, help people keep guns in places like Washington D.C. and get guns on college campuses.  I'm not sure how she fits in here or if her brand of politics have been more of a contributor to our problems as a society, than an answer.  By the way, I think you are our regular antagonist who always shows up under new names.  I'm watching you Corey,  you know the rules.   

Henry Ruark June 11, 2009 1:35 pm (Pacific time)

Corey: Just noticed "green jobs" report right next to our dialog site here...did you read that ? Hard to contend with reality when it bites one right in a vulnerable, if not too-public, site, ain't it ?

Henry Ruark June 11, 2009 1:33 pm (Pacific time)

Corey: You are profoundly, sadly very misinformed re corp. taxes paid, both at state and national levels. It is scandal/to/jaybirds on tax evasion, offshoring, and high jinks to manipulate tax law at all levels. THAT's so long-established it is now avoidance-area for most pundits, which is why the numbers in Op Ed came from OCPP, basically mirrorint the testimony on public record at Legislative hearings, never refuted. You also show definite damning detail reflecting longtime GOPster noise machine tax-myth, promulgated in Reagan era and propagandized ever since, including the "supply-side" stuff dreamed up by Laffer as origination. Samuleson's basic Economics text states unequivocal untruth re basic points you make. Have you tried your tripe on him directly ? Will be happy to relay, with your permission and approval of results reported here. STILL miss any link to real authority from you; OR do you propose your words as simple Holy Writ, never to be openly, publicly challenged, as I just did... Let me know re relay; will probably do so on mine own, anyway, but only ethical to allow your participation if you think you can stand it...

Corey Clearwater June 11, 2009 11:42 am (Pacific time)

In the short term tax increases bring in some revenue, but history clearly shows that this will be temporary during a recession, and may even contribute to a severe loss of jobs. Believe me all Oregon corporations pay taxes and all increases either get passed to the consumer or the businesses fail. The latter is very common even during a good economy, but becomes severe during bad economic times like we have now. Just look at our current growing unemployment rate. Then we may be looking at a depression. I say cut spending and taxes until the economy grows. If it grows, which it did during the mid to late 80's when we had an interest rate at 22%, then no need to increase taxes, but still eliminate spending for pet projects, just focus on neccesary government needs. Approximately 21 million jobs were created up through 1988, so we have a clear history of what happens when you cut taxes during a sour economy. Rep.(OR) Kim Thatcher: "House Bill 3405 which raises the corporate tax to 8% up from 6.6% on companies with over $250,000 in corporate income. The measure increases the corporate minimum tax up to $10,000 depending on annual sales. These tax increases will not just impact profits, but also total sales. Businesses could be on the hook for thousands and thousands of dollars in taxes, even when they lose money. Some advocates for the measures call these “small” or “minor” tax increases. However, the taxpayers footing the bill will see up to a 22% increase in the tax rates. "

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