Special Session & Tax Disclosure Update

We have two updates:

(1) Special Session.  The prospect of a special session is alive and well.  Governor Brown has called for one-day session on Monday, May 21.

Governor Brown called the special session to restore some tax cuts that she denied to 250,000 small businesses in Oregon when she signed SB 1528 into law this month.  SB 1528 denied “pass-through” businesses the ability to claim a 20% income deduction on their state tax returns.  “Pass through” businesses were entitled to this 20% deduction under the federal ‘Tax Cut and Jobs Act’ passed in late 2017. By disallowing this tax deduction, over 250,000 Oregon small businesses will owe $200 million more per year in state taxes.

The Governor’s stated intention for the special session is to restore equivalent tax cuts for about 10,000 sole proprietors with employees.

As of today, the Governor is negotiating with both parties on what the tax cut package will look like.  The Governor’s proposal looks to cut taxes by $20 to $30 million per year – only a fraction of the $200 million in tax cuts that were disallowed by SB 1528.

Also, at this point, we have no reason to believe that the special session will be used to consider other issues.  Rumors have swirled for days that other issues would also be considered.  We do not believe this to be true.

(2) Tax Disclosure ballot measure.  Please be advised that Oregon’s public employee unions have made clear their intention to pursue signature gathering for Initiative Petition 25, a measure that would require publicly traded corporations to publicly disclose tax and business information to the Oregon Secretary of State.  The Secretary of State, in turn, would be required to post this information online in a searchable database.

If the unions are successful in gathering the required 88,000 signatures by July 6th, Initiative Petition 25 would be placed on the November General Election Ballot.

You can view the full measure text here.

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