As was mentioned, Streetcar Charlie wants to raise taxes on businesses in Portland.
"We're growing and many Portlanders and businesses are thriving. Yet many others are experiencing the pain that come from that growth — gang violence, homelessness, and the highest increase in housing prices in the country," Hales said.
But PBA President and Chief Executive Officer Sandra McDonough said, "Three and a half years after taking office, Mayor Hales is finally recognizing major issues impacting this community, issues that we have been saying for some time now need to be addressed and could have been with the existing budget. If he had prioritized these issues since he first took office, perhaps the problems facing Portland’s homeless community, its families and its neighborhoods would not be of the magnitude they are today. Now, with this proposal, he is seeking to put new cost burdens on the small business entrepreneurs who have fueled the budget growth he has enjoyed as mayor. That makes no sense.”
It's easy enough to agree with the Portland Business Alliance on this one; they're getting hammered as it is by Democratics and public employee unions in both Portland and Salem, the state capital. And residents get hammered as well, with more taxes and fees - and higher prices as businesses have little choice but to pass these Democrat mandates along to consumers.
The mayor's proposed budget also includes $3.5 million to increase access to city programs for refugees and create a tribal liaison position.
Yeah, we've always needed a tribal liaison position; that's obviously a core city function. And city programs for refugees are another core city function. But we don't have money to maintain roads, which is cool, because that's not a core city function. For that, you need to pay extra. It looks like some of the other city council members are less than receptive to Streetcar's idea of increasing business taxes, so he may not get his dream fulfilled.
And on the public employee unions' push to tax businesses on gross receipts, there's battle lines bein' drawn:
Already state lawmakers have expressed concerns about the battle that’s about to break out over Initiative Petition 28: Senate President Peter Courtney, for example, has missed no opportunity to compare the coming fight to the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War. And state Sen. Mark Hass, D-Beaverton, has called for the governor and the Legislature to work on an alternative, lower corporate sales tax bill. Hass has worried that the ballot measure would trigger a nasty fight between unions and businesses, with a campaign price tag that almost certainly will overshadow the spending for the governor’s race.
Nevertheless, the battle lines already are forming: Proponents of the tax increase say it’s needed to make sure that the state’s largest companies are paying their fair share toward vital state services such as education. Opponents are arguing that such a huge tax increase will cement Oregon’s reputation as being anti-business, will chase businesses out of the state — and that consumers will end up footing much of the bill for the increased tax anyway.
Whenever you hear somebody talking about making sure that somebody else is "paying their fair share", you can be certain that it's a communist running off at the mouth.