The corporate lobbyist who said "no" to scheduled "tax cut"

Chuck Sheketoff

Revenue is way down, the fallout from the recession. Lawmakers are proposing deep cuts to the public services that lay the foundation for a quality of life and a good business environment. Meanwhile, a temporary tax increase approved during the 2009 legislative session is set to expire, necessitating even deeper cuts.

So recently, a corporate lobbyist went to the State Capitol and argued against allowing the scheduled “tax cut” — his words, not mine — to go through:

"As we look at what the impacts of this economy is doing to our public education system, our higher education system, health care, senior citizen support, in good conscience, we would just as soon not get a tax cut."

* * * *

"There isn't a business in this state, that cares about this state, that wants to see its taxes reduced while we are laying off teachers, reducing their salaries, furloughing state employees, reducing nursing home support, reducing public safety, potentially closing community colleges, increasing tuition, eliminating professors, eliminating degrees from universities, etc., etc., etc., * * * It's just not necessary to give us a tax cut."

Who was this corporate lobbyist speaking in favor of the common good, rather than for private greed?

Was it:

Find the answer, after the jump.

Answer: None of the above and it wasn't in Oregon, even though the situation is similar. The corporate lobbyist was Billy Vassiliadis, representing the Nevada Resort Association, which includes most of that state's gaming properties. Read the story in the Reno Gazette-Journal.


Oregon Center for Public PolicyChuck Sheketoff is the executive director of the Oregon Center for Public Policy. You can sign up to receive email notification of OCPP materials at

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    Darn, I thought for sure it was Duncan Wyse or second, Deckert.

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    The linked article is truly stunning. It never would have occurred to me to look to Nevada's gambling and mining industries for examples of good corporate citizenship.

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    Of course, it would be insidious to consider that maybe government is overextending itself with too many programs. But that certainly can't be the case!

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    A majority of the programs in place are there because a constituent ~ in one form or another ~ asked for it. Even, in some cases, just one. How many times have you said (or heard someone say) "there's too much gubmint" and "there otta be a law" in the same conversation?

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    It would indeed be refreshing to see some of the special business interests putting the public interest first and supporting revenue increases. It would be equally refreshing to see teacher unions and educational leaders supporting the aggressive use of online learning to increase opportunities and efficiencies and supporting paying to send high school students to study abroad to increase our global competitiveness.

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