The disingenuous opposition to Measure 97

Chuck Sheketoff

The corporate-funded opposition to Measure 97 doesn’t seem to care about facts and consistency. Case in point: an op-ed in The Oregonian by ECONorthwest’s John Tapogna, who represents the Oregon Business Council in the Measure 97 campaign.

Rather than rebut his piece point-by-point, I’ll just get to the core issue: the disingenuousness of Tapogna’s lengthy criticism of a narrow gross receipts tax affecting only the largest corporations.

Why is it disingenuous? Because earlier this month, in a debate I had with Tapogna (a link to recording), I asked him what his alternative to Measure 97 would be. His response: an across-the-board gross receipts tax (hear the question and Tapogna’s answer starting at 31:21). So the Oregon Business Council’s Tapogna devotes an op-ed to maligning a narrow gross receipts tax that would apply only to the largest (and mainly out-of-state) corporations, but he and the business lobby he represents favor a broad gross-receipts tax that would apply to the restaurant down the street, the neighborhood barbershop and all other businesses, regardless of their structure or profitability.