Monday, March 2, 2015

Oregon headed for tax-backwater status

Facebook, Apple and Google don't have enough money, so they're seeking more tax breaks from Oregon that would let them expand data farms here or provide internet service without paying hardly any taxes at all.

These companies already enjoy property tax breaks in the state and now want their income taxes swept away.

In neighboring Crook County, facebook got a sweetheart property tax deal and now employs a handful of people. In time, the only jobs there will be for janitors.

Apple showed how to get property tax breaks and screw over Crook County by adding no jobs. Apple is servicing its data farm there by remote control, most likely from India.

And what did Crook County get for all its benevolence? The highest unemployment rate in the state.

Yes, a lose-lose proposition, which will become lose-lose-lose if Oregon grants these ultra-rich companies still more tax breaks during the current legislative session.

Google is leading the charge because it wants to add true high-speed internet service at a reasonable price in the Portland area. There will be a few jobs associated with the Google Fiber service but not many permanent ones.

Apple and facebook plan to add no new jobs for the tax breaks they're seeking.

The deal is so outrageous that the League of Oregon Cities, hardly a left-wing cabal, is opposed to these ridiculous tax breaks.

Its executive director, Mike McCauley, was quoted in the daily paper as saying, "We cannot support the total bill as it is currently written as it provides excessive tax reductions to existing telecom and cable providers, at the expense of local services, without generating new economic development."

If these corporations want to get these tax breaks without providing any jobs, by all means, they should go to another state that are eager to bend over for them.

If Apple, the richest company in the world, wants to pay no taxes in Oregon, why should anyone else, of much lesser means, pay any taxes at all.

There is a narrative in this country that tax breaks to corporations equals endless tax-paying jobs.

Well, that Reagan-era doctrine has long been discredited.

It's been the Republican ploy to push the tax burden from those with the most to those with the least. In essence, starve the government of tax revenue and we'll all live long and prosper.

Well, our national debt is in the stratosphere due to this philosophy.

Meanwhile, the diminishing middle class is so financially stressed that it rarely votes for tax measures that would make their lives better.

The public good has been sacrificed for private gain.

In Oregon, obscene tax breaks for rich corporations has led to crumbling roads and bridges, inadequate funding for public schools and almost no support for higher education.

This all makes places like Prineville less and less attractive to outside companies. If the schools are weak, the infrastructure crumbling and there is little hope of affording higher education, what's the point of moving to Prineville at all.

The same could be said for any rural city in Oregon or in the rest of the country.

The more Oregon allows the wealthiest corporations in the world to avoid paying taxes, the poorer this state will be.

No comments:

Post a Comment