One of Bill Bradbury's big pitches to progressives - which, even as a Kitzhaber guy, I have recognized as a strong pitch - is that he was a strong supporter of Measures 66 and 67. So I was puzzled to see, in the new Portland Monthly, this exchange with Bradbury:
Chambers: How are you going to keep businesses from leaving Oregon because of Measures 66 and 67? Some are already planning to.
[Bradbury]: We need to repeal 66 and 67. That’s a huge challenge given the fiscal situation. But frankly, I think 9 percent is a pretty high income tax. Let me be clear: I’m not proposing repeal. But I’d certainly look at it if we have serious impacts from the increase. I don’t think it’s sustainable.
I'm not excited by what Kitzhaber said on the topic - he criticized the 'gross receipts' portion of Measure 67, while suggesting a sales tax is a good idea. In fact, a sales tax would be harder on most 'high volume / low margin' businesses than the Measure 67 gross receipts tax: paying a 5% sales on everything you buy is a lot more expensive than paying a 0.1% gross receipts tax on your sales. And a sales tax is more targeted at truly Oregon businesses than a gross receipts tax; it hits businesses that are buying things from other businesses in Oregon, whereas a gross receipts tax is largely paid by out-of-state businesses that sell stuff to Oregon but may not otherwise have much of a presence here.
But while I can argue with what Kitzhaber said, I am baffled by what Bradbury - an enthusiastic supporter of 66 & 67 - said. What gives?
UPDATE: Bradbury now has a statement out saying he misspoke. See Jeff Mapes.