for Oregon Secretary of State
(I did not submit this statement for publication in the Voters' Pamphlet because I expected it to be drowned out by the volume of statements published. But, I do want the voters to be aware of my position on Measure 97.)
I am voting NO on Measure 97.
Meausre 97 is a gross receipts tax on large businesses.
Firstly, the tax code should be neutral regarding the size of a business. It is not appropriate to penalize (or subsidize!) any business based upon its size. It is a disgusting political tactic to feed off of hatred of "big corporations."
Secondly, the tax code should be neutral regarding the organization of a business. A gross receipts tax tilts the scales in favor of businesses that are vertically integrated, as they avoid the tax on business-to-business purchases by doing all steps of production internally.
I believe that government should be as neutral as possible regarding its impact on the economy, and this ballot measure fails the neutrality test in two ways. (A straight sales tax would not have had either of these distortionary effects.)
But thirdly, and most importantly, I do not support raising net taxes. Taxes are already too high, and the budget shortfall should be closed by cutting spending. As a Libertarian, I believe in a dramatically reduced role for government, and a government that does much less will also cost much less. The tax code should be simplified and taxes should go down, not up.