Corporate Responsibility? Hardly.

By Patrick Holmes of Beaverton, Oregon who describes himself as "a native Oregonian, a college student, a young journalist and, occasionally, a political activist."

The days of corporate loyalty and conscience are long gone, what there ever was of it. Portland learned this when Columbia Sportswear moved to the 'burbs, just to illustrate one example. Now it seems that local governments are expending much effort to keep jobs in their jurisdiction.

Washington County is working with Intel to reach a deal to extend the current 10-year $12.5 billion in investments deal that the county has with Intel to a 25-year $25 billion additional investment in the county. Of course these investments only benefit Intel and do not reflect any contribution the company will make to its community. In exchange for this promise to invest money in Washington County and hopefully stay here in Oregon, the company will receive tax breaks. Essentially Intel is blackmailing the county into allowing them lower taxes.

Just east of Intel over in Beaverton, oops, I mean Unincorporated Washington County, Nike has thrown a temper tantrum over the City of Beaverton's recent plans to slowly annex properties that are surrounded by Beaverton into the city over the next ten years. Nike was going to sell a 53-acre piece of property that is already in the city limits to Kaiser Permanente but days before the deal was to be signed they backed out citing Beaverton's annexation plans as their reason. If this is not a sign that Nike is willing to move if they are not allowed to freeload then I do not know what is.

People will look at their beautiful headquarters and say that they have invested too much in their facilities to move. However, as cities have seen all over the country, companies will move if it helps their bottom line. Beaverton has already told Nike NO to their request for a 30-year moratorium on annexation of their property. While this shows they may want to play hardball with Nike, with the threat of losing Oregon's only Fortune 500 company looming how much will they sacrifice to make them happy? It is safe to assume that in the end Beaverton will have to allow Nike to not contribute their fair share to Beaverton in order to get them to stay here.

Since the only thing that these companies listen to is their bottom line the only way to change this practice is for consumers to stop buying from companies that bully their communities. Unfortunately we are leaps and bounds away from customers caring enough about corporate responsibility for this impact to be felt by the corporations. Nike's taxes would be raised by a little more than a half-million dollars annually if they were annexed by Beaverton. That is pocket change for a multibillion dollar company.

Forcing corporations to be responsible is not easy as their money funds the campaigns for the people that make the laws. Until we can find a way to force corporations to not run from taxes we can only ask that they take a little pride in their communities and cough up their fair share of the tax base. If a struggling college student has no problems paying his fair share in taxes why should multi-billion dollar companies be any different.

Comments

  • (Show?)

    What does Nike/Intel provide for Oregon...jobs that provide $'s to buy homes, consumer goods, employees who pay taxes, contibutions to charities, universities, scholarships, investments in Oregon's future. Could they pay more taxes, yes?

    The question is where will Intel and Nike make their next capital investments? Some people hope it will be Oregon.

  • Steve (unverified)
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    Corporations not responsible? At no cost to taxpayers, Intel/Nike are the two largest employers in the state. These employees spend their salaries in Beaverton and environs, pay income tax, buy houses and pay property taxes. In addition, Nike/Intel have padid for multiple inmprovements to infra-structure again at no cost to taxpayers.

    In addition, Intel/Nike have made numerous charitable contributions. So saying these guys do not generate taxes is not true at all.

    Beaverton has not made a good case for what Nike will get for the big rise in property taxes they will pay besides a $130K/year mayor. Moreover, the comment about Nike being stuck here - so lets extract every last penny of taxes from them - is pretty telling. I guess the endgame is keep taxing these guys until we drive them out?

  • Michael (unverified)
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    Why on earth do we need taxes in the first place? Why not simply send everyone a bill for what services they use each month, or quarterly? That would, hopefully, eliminate the continual debate over tax abatements, deferrals, etc. Most of us receive a bill from the local water bureau. Why not have the fire department send out bills monthly, or quarterly for fire suppression services just like any other insurance we buy? Michael

  • iggi (unverified)
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    yes, perfect solution...then i can ignore my monthly bill from the Pentagon until they finally come to collect my first born child.

  • (Show?)

    Wait wait, I think I've got it. I know that this sounds revolutionary but:

    What if we required any entity that earns income of any kind to pay at least the same percentage of that income in taxes that is required of me when I'm working in a welding shop for $15.00 per hour.

    I know that'd never work. I forgot the blackmail factor. We need to be more accommodating of the tender feelings of our corporate persons or they'll take their marbles and move to the Bahamas.

    <hr/>

    I still hear from boosters of the flat tax. It just sounds too simple and fair to ignore. When I agree with them but stipulate that all income of any kind be included, the conversation ends. Every one of us knows that there is one (or a dozen) exceptions that just have to be made.

  • Jon Petkun (unverified)
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    Nice post Pat. We should keep in mind though that Nike isn't necessarily the only bully on the block. Some residents of neighborhoods such as Garden Home and Raleigh Park feel pretty bullied themselves... by the city of Beaverton. Higher property taxes with few appreciable benefits... Anywho, BHS fight fight fight.

  • Edward (unverified)
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    I don't agree that a boycott would end the corporate practice of pitting local governments against each other in a "survivor" type of race to the bottom for tax-break incentives where the only real winner is the corporation that ends up paying the least amount of taxes possible.

    What we need is for all local municipalities accross the nation to stop giving special tax-breaks in the name of economic development. Of course, as long as any other local government might give this type of tax break, no other local government will have the motivation to stop the practice. Classic case of a tragedy of the commons.

    The best hope of ending these type of practices would be a court case, which would stop local governments from competing against each other. Of course, this wouldn't end the acrimony between Nike and Beaverton, but it would mean that Nike would have less leverage in terms of negotiating a special deal.

  • Peter (unverified)
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    Change the rules of the game

    If we admit that cities and counties are in a competitive situation for these companies, let’s look at whether different rules could make for a better outcome. I mean, it is definitely in Washington County’s best interest to offer tax abatement to Intel until the costs outweigh the benefits because otherwise Intel could shift investment elsewhere. Likewise, it would be in Multnomah County’s best interest to offer tax abatement to get some Intel investment.

    The problem is, there is no benefit to counties overall (all counties in the US for instance) to offer Intel tax abatement since, Intel has to reside somewhere (avoiding the question of Intel leaving the US) and in the aggregate the counties overall would be better off saving the tax abatement.

    So, if instead of having counties compete for who can shift their revenue sources around enough so that they can offer companies deals (all things being equal, residences are being taxed more, by the way), why don’t we make them compete at what they are good at, providing services for their citizens as efficiently as possible.

    If the state of Oregon or the US government made a rule that counties could not offer deals to companies, all the skirmishes over location would go away and counties would have to resort to doing their best at creating an educated, stable, community to attract companies or better yet, to foster companies. Heck, the counties would probably thank us for changing the rules. I would bet they have little interest in spending time and money cutting these deals.

  • Rorovitz (unverified)
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    The above comments that quickly rise in defense of Nike and Intel seem to me a little spurious. First, why don't we extend to all businesses a holiday from taxes? They all create jobs, generate tax revenue through salaries etc.

    The answer is that we have to pay for public services in some way. And these companies benefit from these services.

    For instance, Nike has police and fire protection, streets that take workers to and from the Nike campus, sewer and water so that the Nike workers can have showers there. They also benefit from having some education take place in the state, from having educated workers qualified to work there and allow them to generate their tremendous profits.

    While both Nike and Intel have provided donations and infrastructure development, I can't imagine that it is anywhere near the value that they have recieved from community investment and tax revenue.

    What is really at issue here is that these corporate entities are engaging in modern day extortion by threatening, or implying a threat that if we don't continue to give huge breaks they'll pull up stakes and move elsewhere. The problem is that around the country we've allowed ourselves to give into this, and even bought into arguments that this type of behavior is good for us.

    At the end of the day, we have to ask the question: are we here to serve the corporations, or are they here to serve us?

  • John (unverified)
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    OK, clearly I am a newbie in these complex economic discussions, but I'd love to see more discussion about community-based, economic self-reliance. No, not a short-term solution to what you're talking about, but rather an important and fundamentally different way to re-frame our society's development to avoid corporate bullying.

    As we strive to make government more accountable to local communities, so too, we should strive for our economy to be more accountable to the long-ignored needs of local communities.

    Ouch! I can hear the abuses being hurled at me already! Dreamer! Unrealistic hogwash! Fair enough, but don't all realities begin with a dream?

    A little more substance to that dream from some other crazy Eugeneans: http://www.heliosnetwork.org/localfirst.htm

  • (Show?)

    This is a touchy situation, and I worry that rhetoric like Patrick uses about "forcing" Nike and Intel to do things closes doors rather than opens them.

    Item. Intel and Nike are very important to Portland, and if they moved to Toledo, the Metro area would lose a lot of high-paying jobs. It may not be fair that these companies wield more political weight than the corner taco stand as a result of this, but it's the reality.

    Item. Localities that have squandered their tax base trying to lure corporations like Nike and Intel have often been burned. Badly.

    Item. The reason companies can extract these sweetheart deals is because cities are willing to give them. If cities quit offering them, big business would have to deal on a more level playing field.

    Item. By playing three-card monte with cities and states, corporations managed to avoid trillions in taxes a year, all of which must be recouped from individuals and small business, or come in the form of program cuts like we've seen in Oregon. By playing three-card monte, corporations are taking money out of taxpayer's pockets.

    So what to do? This is politics, baby. It's not unreasonable to offer some incentives to large corporations, but it's also not unreasonable to point out to Nike and Intel that one of the reasons they like Oregon--its livability--is jeopardized by greed. Encourage companies to be good citizens. It's stick and carrot stuff. "Forcing" gets you a gorgeous, empty campus in the rolling western hills.

  • John (unverified)
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    Good points, all, Jeff!

    It all sounds like a vicious cycle, though. Especially, "The reason companies can extract these sweetheart deals is because cities are willing to give them. If cities quit offering them, big business would have to deal on a more level playing field."

    Naturally, cities give them because they are desperate to create jobs and get that positive cycle going: every job created BOTH saves in various social support payments and starts to bring in taxes. Very important, obviously!

    What is needed is a little research into a simple question: is it worth it? Leaving aside the question about what to do with current recipients of tax abatements like Nike, are these kind of publically-provided incentives worth it in terms of job creation?

    Here's just one reference I found for review:

    Do state and local economic development tax incentives help state and local economies?

  • (Show?)

    Since the only thing that these companies listen to is their bottom line the only way to change this practice is for consumers to stop buying from companies that bully their communities.

    While I agree that the bottom line is paramount to corporations (and, frankly, to a lot of individual citizens whose actions are only motivated by money--witness the passage of Measure 37), I have to argue that companies like Nike are also capable of a lot of good.

    I have sat next to Nike executives who are doing life-cycle analyses of their shoes in order to figure out what can be re-used when a pair of sneaks get discarded. My family has used one of the brand new basketball courts (its surface made from ground up sneaker soles) at Grant Park, one of dozens of new surfaces that Nike donated to the City two years ago.

    Is Nike overall motivated by money? You betcha. Are their corporate responsibility and community involvement initiatives an attempt to make more money? Maybe, but does it really matter if they are doing good things?

    There are a lot of people at Nike concerned with making their company more responsive to the community at large. Are they making a mistake about the Beaverton annexation issue? Probably, but it's a shame when an issue like this overshadows the other things they are doing or have done. We could do a lot worse in Oregon--we could be the corporate headquarters of Wal-Mart.

  • allehseya (unverified)
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    I may be naive -- but to be competetive in keeping our Businesses in Portland (assuming we want the jobs, etc that they provide) -- the trick appears to be finding a mutual agreement that doesnt compromise our Portland-centric values and will lend towards addressing city-wide financieal issues.

    So what if Nike got the tax break but -- on the condition that they had to re-invest a certain amount of their revenue back into the community --- through the non-profit sector to address specific city issues / needs (education immediatly comes to mind). If we can make it a win / win situation instead of a us / them disagreement then I think Nike gains a slightly cleaner Corporate image in the process while the city gets their assistance -- just not through taxation.

  • (Show?)

    Jeff,

    If my comments are ultimately unhelpful on this issue, it's because I don't think that there is actually anything that we can do to stop the race to the bottom on several fronts.

    Corporations are amoral by design. They exist for several reasons, the original being to spread risk among investors. The prime directive for the modern corporation is quarterly profit increases.

    So a corporation may be chock full of kind and caring individuals, but in the end if its stocks are publicly held, it will bow to market forces or be destroyed.

    <hr/>

    So states, counties, and municipalities, participate competitively in their own destruction as mentioned by Edward in his allusion to the tragedy of the commons.

    Corporations, spurred by investor demands, move their jobs from one third world country to the next in search of the cheapest labor.

    Agricultural based employers, squeezed by low priced produce from these same third world countries, conspire with our own tender hearted leftists to continue to import cheap, illegal labor to keep fresh tomatoes in my spinach salad. This of course works to keep existing blue collar wages in the US low.

    The only realistic future that I see for the world is a vast sea of poor undereducated people with a very small professional class separating them from an entrenched oligarchy at the top.

    After all, both George H.W. Bush and Karl Marx espouse internationalism........

  • Rorovitz (unverified)
    (Show?)

    allehseya,

    So what's the difference between a community benefit arrangement like you proposed and taxes?

    The reason they don't want to pay taxes, and instead to PR driven community donations is that corporations can pay a whole lot less and generate the "goodwill" that causes people, like the ones in this thread, to allow them to get off of being taxed because they do such good things.

    The strategy here is to get a marginally lower rate (amount of tax - community benefit payments = more profit) and have a more flexible effort on boosting the bottom line.

    Oh, and Nike is in Beaverton. Intel is in Hillsboro. This is an Oregon discussion, not a Portland one.

  • (Show?)

    Pat (Ryan), I was actually referencing the author of the post in my comments.

    As to your observation that corporations are amoral--I totally agree. And--to continually promoting my liberal agenda--I think the way you address that is through good old-fashioned policy. In the 50s, those same amoral corporations were providing their workers with a decent wage, benefits, and a pension. They didn't do it, as you point out, because they were good citizens. They did it because we had far stricter regulations then.

    In fact, the situation arises in part because states and the feds have been way too lenient with corporations. And how do those immoral entities reward leniency? By screwing us.

  • (Show?)

    This article is a huge oversimplification of what tax abatements mean. If you want the full scoop on Intel's original contract, go to the source.

    The Strategic Investment Program in Washington County is designed to help companies that require major cash outlays in order to grow. When Intel throws $25 billion into fixed investment, much times goes by before that investment can turn a profit. Even thought the tax savings are minimal overall, they help tremendously in the beginning.

    Plus, if Intel reaches certain levels of success, there are clear benchmarks that override the abatements. Intel and Nike donate a tremendous amount of money as well to Oregon schools.

    I deviate from other commentors in saying that bringing jobs to Oregon and then relying on personal income taxes is dangerous. We do need sufficient revenues from property taxes. But I deviate from the author of this in saying that Nike and Intel don't pay their fair share. The timber and agricultural industry have far more tax breaks than the technology and manufacturing industries. And these industries need massive cash outlays to get going.

  • (Show?)

    I'm not an economist either, but even if we removed local and state tax incentives across the U.S., what's to stop a company from moving overseas, to say, Singapore?

    In an era where not just call center employees but physicians are being outsourced, I worry how we can keep any good jobs in Oregon.

  • John (unverified)
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    Leslie,

    We can keep good jobs in Oregon by investing what public resources we have (local taxes collected for local government) in locally-owned smaller businesses. Dollar for dollar, almost any study will prove, such incentives and investments create more jobs than thrown at big factories. We have to vote for people that believe in better investing of tax incentives, that is, tax policies that produce real results for the average working person.

    If I had an investment councilor that had such poor results, I'd have fired them a long time ago.

    Another angle: look at creating communities of consumers that go out of their way to buy locally-produced products.

    Think Wal-Mart is cheap? How expensive will it be for our culture in its race to the bottom, fueled by corporate blackmail?

  • Lambchops (unverified)
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    This article came across as ignorant to me. Just wait until a company like Nike leaves, then you will be writing a column stating that our economy is in jeapordy and you will be wondering why other companies are not moving to Beaverton. I know, lets rely on the government for everything...I would be more than happy if my taxes doubled because I know the government will take care of me.

  • Rorovitz (unverified)
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    In the 50's it wasn't regulation that brought about good pay, benefits and wages, it was high unionization, roughly 34%, of American workers. It's now about 12%, 9% in the private sector. That's why wages and benefits are lower.

    Why do you think Wal-Mart fights so aggressively to keep unions out?

  • John (unverified)
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    Rorovitz,

    It's a multiplicity of factors that have brought us to our present circumstances: less union membership, greater concentration of wealth and income, greater concentration of media conglomerates, fewer independent media options, less regulation of business, etc. However, your point on unionization rates is well taken. Notice the level opf social supports European nations have? The power of unions is a key factor in creating that kind of society. Oh, and it hasn't significantly affected their per capita income or overall level of wealth!

    The right-wing's long term plan is very simple: Total reliance on corporations for everything. Sure stockholders have a vote, but most working folks don't have stock and in any case, you're stockholder vote affects only one company on an agenda set by management. Sound familiar? Not to me. Voting at all levels of government has far more affect on public policy and rule through government offers far better possibilities for change in the direction of fairness and a better community life.

    For every post that lambasts the role of government in our lives, we take one baby step backwards to the "Golden Age" of Robber Barons before the social supports of The New Deal. Things we take for granted, like: Child Labor laws, overtime pay laws, Social Security, public health standards, etc. Can we do better? Of course. Let's start with government cutting back on all the corporate welfare and eliminating all the damn tax loopholes for the rich.

  • (Show?)

    The unions cut their own throats with one simple bedrock principle. A worker could not be fired "for cause" without a Byzantine and expensive review process.

    This was the Achilles heel of the whole movement, and it led to their marginalization in the eyes of the very people that they wished to recruit.

    It's also the case that unions could not have survived their earler decades without resorting to violence against "scabs", rampant corruption, and cronyism. (and no, I am not implying that current Oregon union leadership advocates or practices any of the preceeding behaviors). Nonetheless solidarity through fear and nepotism is what made them the huge and powerful players that they were in the first four decades of the 20th century.

    With apologies to Tim Nesbitt, Rorovitz, and others, it's gonna be really tough to convince people outside of gummint that unionization is a social good, until these issues are addressed.

  • (Show?)

    John writes <<<< We can keep good jobs in Oregon by investing what public resources we have (local taxes collected for local government) in locally-owned smaller businesses...<<<<

    Right. We slap a pizza shop on Belmont with a huge System Development Charge for moving across the street into their own building ("It's a Beautiful Pizza"...good pizza, patronize them!)...then we use that SDC money to pay for infrastructure, not on Belmont, but in the Pearl and South Waterfront.

    How much tax incentives and breaks did Fujitsu get from Gresham...only to say "nevermind."

    Just as the governors across the country are trying to take up the issue of Medicaid costs (i.e. underfunded federal mandates) with a united, collective response...so too they --we-- can put an end to the otherwise endless inducements we give to business to move from place to place, soliciting the best deal du jour. Can they --will they-- move to China? Hasn't that already happened...or do folks think Nike's making those sneakers in unincorporated Washington County?

    Maybe its the Florida sun having its way with me, and the excess of "Support Our Troops" bumper stickers on the SUVs hereabouts, but demanding a little patriotism from our corporations --and consumers-- while antithical to "free marketeers" might help stem the tide of capital and manufacturing outflow.

    I choose local produce over Chile's. Belive our local Pinot Noirs beat Burgundy any day of the week (well, except maybe Saturday). I don't wear Nike shoes, and I'm loath to line up at drive-thru windows. I haven't eaten at McDonald's since they forced Sam's Hofbrau out of business (for those old enough to remember THAT wonderful place next to PSU).

    We can make a difference in our personal choices. We can also tell Nike...pay your fair share of taxes and make the difference up by dropping Kobe already.

    Frank Dufay

    Dollar for dollar, almost any study will prove, such incentives and investments create more jobs than thrown at big factories. We have to vote for people that believe in better investing of tax incentives, that is, tax policies that produce real results for the average working person.

  • Rorovitz (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Pat,

    Technically a worker in a union setting can be fired for cause, then there's a process for contesting that procedure. I understand what you're trying to say, but you don't have it correct.

    And it wasn't cronyism or corruption that led the decline, it was a lack of organizing of the "new economy" workers as manufaturing, mining and other industries that were the backbone of the economy were shipped overseas. Again, I understand what you're trying to say, but you're off on this point as well.

    On a similar, yet slightly different note, did anyone catch Perle in the Dean debate saying that ANY worker or environmental protections in developing nations would cause ALL foreign trade to cease?

    He was essentially making the argument that we will move to the standards of Cambodia and China, at which point America will match those standards. For the posters above who implied we may loose child labor, minimum wage and other protections under the Right-wing regieme, Perle basically endorsed the notion.

    Oh and Pat, Nesbitt and I don't need your apologies. Thanks anyway.

  • (Show?)

    Our elected officials need to be smarter and not just give in immediately to every demand Nike and Intel make. I'm not opposed to creating incentives for companies to locate and invest in Oregon, but we should demand measurable value in return rather than just a vague promise to simply "consider" more future investment here in the future, or to not leave town completely. I think a lot of times these companies are bluffing and just asking for the moon because they want to see it they can get away with it. And too often they do.

  • (Show?)

    Rorovitz writes <<< And it wasn't cronyism or corruption that led the decline, it was a lack of organizing of the "new economy" workers as manufaturing, mining and other industries that were the backbone of the economy were shipped overseas.<<<

    C'mon...it was a lot of things that caused the decline of organized labor. Kicking the "militants" out. Abandoning the "class struggle" for collaboration with capital. American exceptionalism. Union corruption. (Or did someone already say that?)

    The trade union movement is alive and well in many parts of the world. If we're to understand the decline of ours, we're going to have to be a little more sophisticated and comprehesive in our analysis. :-)

    Frank Dufay

  • Rorovitz (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Frank,

    No disagreement. Much better post than Pat's. He was drastically oversimplifying in a Righty kind of way.

  • (Show?)

    No, Rorovitz, I was drastically oversimplifying in a "this has been my personal experience working with union employees in my field throughout my career" kind of way.

  • Adam Petkun (unverified)
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    pat ill agree with with jp said...both about the communities and the high school

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    I'm a union supporter, but there certainly was a lot of cronyism and corruption in organized labor. Most of it is gone now. There are a couple for it. Employers were so heavy-handed in dealing with labor that tough-guy tactics were the onl way for unions to suceed, for one. Another was the socialist/communist purges that forced many of the most worker and justice friendly folks out of union leadership.

    All things considered, unions, like all organizations, will never be perfect. all things considered, we would be better off with more unionization.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    Oops, hit post instead of preview. Should be - There are a couple of reasons for it - and "onl" should be "only."

  • Duke Shepard (unverified)
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    A submission by Frank Dufay makes a huge factual error regarding Fujitsu. FUTISU NEVER RECEIVED AN ABATEMENT! This is not a hard fact to figure out, if you make a phone call or two or send an email to some people to inform your opinion. They did have a Strategic Investment Program Agreement that WOULD have eventually granted an abatement. However, BEFORE the abatement kicked in, sometime in 1996-1997, they negotiated their way out of the agreement. The economics of their market segment completely changed, and so did their investment plans. So, while they eventually retooled the plant, boosted hiring, went in the tank again, closed, laid everyone off, and left, they did so without the benefit of a tax abatement.

  • PanchoPdx (unverified)
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    If we had a uniform federal prohibition on providing selective tax breaks it would encourage better government. Governments would still have pressure to lower the overall tax burden, but at least each government (state, county, city) would have an internally level playing field (no favorites).

    Selective tax breaks for businesses are often classified as "corporate welfare", but it's actually closer to "public investments". When the rules are changed (or preferential treatment is offered) for a business, public money essentially in invested in their success. Businesses are bargaining for tax breaks because it has become acceptable for government entities to muddy the line between public and private investment under the justification of "business development."

    Instead of handing out sweetheart deals to big businesses and making up the difference by shaking down pizza shops, municipalities should be competing with each other to offer the best overall business climate (we can all agree to disagree on what set of policies produce the best business climate, eventually the proof is demonstrated in the long term bottom line).

    This sort of approach (stop government from playing favorites in the marketplace) generally finds more support on the libertarian right than the the progressive left. The PDC and the Ore. Dept of Economic Development are government creatures that dwell in the muddied line between public and private investment - in other words, the are essentially Corporate Welfare Offices.

    But as long as the term "corporate welfare" is only selectively applied to certain types of disdained public investments in the private marketplace, everyone will keep talking past each other on this issue.

  • Jon (unverified)
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    While I agree that the bottom line is paramount to corporations (and, frankly, to a lot of individual citizens whose actions are only motivated by money--witness the passage of Measure 37)

    Not to threadjack, but you dont think that maybe certain Oregonians who voted for M37 might want to be able to use their land? Maybe even [gasp] LIVE on it? And lets not forget that those Oregonians who want to divide their property and build many homes to sell or whatever, will provide a new property tax base for the area. But Mr. K in Salem and his little gaggle of followers don't give a flying crap about that...they just don't want anyone to be able to use their land for something besides a pretty area inside a fence. This is evident by our governor's stated goal of just paying people off instead of letting them build something.

    Sometimes I am glad I rent. At least I know where I stand.

  • allehseya (unverified)
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    allehseya, So what's the difference between a community benefit arrangement like you proposed and taxes?

    The goal is the same – only re-contextualized into a win/win ‘spin’. They get what they want, on a condition – the condition allows them to ‘invest in the community’ in such a way that they can choose specific city issues / area to address.

    The reason they don't want to pay taxes, and instead to PR driven community donations is that corporations can pay a whole lot less and generate the "goodwill" that causes people, like the ones in this thread, to allow them to get off of being taxed because they do such good things. While I admit to being somewhat naïve or idealistic in this regard, the fact that they are interested in their corporate image in funding non-profit activities could act as a leveraging element in negotiations.

    Oh, and Nike is in Beaverton. Intel is in Hillsboro. This is an Oregon discussion, not a Portland one. Regarding my Portland centric values comment earlier, I was responding to Jeff’s comment:

    Intel and Nike are very important to Portland, and if they moved to Toledo, the Metro area would lose a lot of high-paying jobs.

  • allehseya (unverified)
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    Anyone catch Bill Gates reprimanding state governors for the status of education across the country? (I'll post links when I get back to my studio)

  • (Show?)

    Not to beat a dead horse --or thread-- to death but with Mr. Duke Shepard objecting so strongly --in CAPS YET!-- to what I wrote...

    <<< A submission by Frank Dufay makes a huge factual error regarding Fujitsu. FUTISU NEVER RECEIVED AN ABATEMENT! This is not a hard fact to figure out, if you make a phone call or two or send an email to some people to inform your opinion. They did have a Strategic Investment Program Agreement that WOULD have eventually granted an abatement. However, BEFORE the abatement kicked in, sometime in 1996-1997, they negotiated their way out of the agreement...<

    Lets see... I'd written: "How much tax incentives and breaks did Fujitsu get from Gresham...only to say "nevermind."

    They GOT the breaks...just DIDN'T USE THEM. Is there anything we don't understand about the definition of "nevermind?"

    Sheesh...

    Frank Dufay

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