Oregon’s Corporate Tax Regulations
Dear Member of the Oregon Legislature:
The legislature needs to update the rules for how corporations that do business in Oregon report profit. Current law prevents the state from monitoring the amount of profit earned in Oregon but moved offshore to avoid state taxes. As a result, these corporations don’t pay the taxes they should on their Oregon profits.
Two recent reports put the revenue loss at $175 to $188 million a year. The legislature can stop that abuse and raise hundreds of millions of dollars to fund Oregon schools – by making these corporations pay the taxes they should pay on profits they’ve shifted to tax havens.
You can require corporations to report profit on a Complete (or Worldwide Combined) basis, so they have to disclose their state and worldwide profits. Oregon required this in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, and used those filings to limit tax haven abuse. Oregon dropped Complete Reporting in 1984, and the use of tax havens grew.
Reinstate Complete Reporting and make it harder for corporations to use tax havens. That way, if a corporation earns 2 percent of its worldwide profit in the state, Oregon can tax 2 percent of its profit. It will raise millions for Oregon schools (mainly from rich and out-of-state investors), shrink tax avoidance by large corporations, and boost tax fairness for smaller businesses.