71 economists announce support for Measure 97

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Today, 71 economists from Oregon and around the country came together to release a letter in support of A Better Oregon, agreeing that Measure 97 is the right solution for Oregon’s students, families and seniors.

Measure 97 will be a boon to Oregon’s economy.

With decades of experience between them, the 71 economists found that the burden of taxes has drastically shifted from corporations, which in the 1970s paid 18.5% of income taxes but today pay just 6.7%, to Oregon families.

What this shift in the tax burden means is that Oregon has some of the largest class sizes and shortest schools years in the nation, thousands of seniors live in poverty, and 1 in 4 Oregonians still lacks health insurance. Oregonians cannot hope to address these shortcomings in education, health care and senior services without new sources of revenue. And that’s what Measure 97 delivers.

“The primary reason our state doesn’t have the funds it needs is that some of the corporations operating in Oregon have quietly but steadily found ways to stop paying state income taxes,” said Martin Hart-Landsberg, Professor Emeritus, Economics, at Lewis & Clark College. “The only reasonable way to generate the tax revenue we need to fund critical state programs is by marking large corporations pay more in taxes.”

Ultimately, the economists found that Measure 97 will be a boon, not a damage, to Oregon’s economy. The real drain on our economy is maintaining the status quo of disinvestment in schools, health care and senior services.

The full letter from the 71 economists, led by Martin Hart-Landsberg, Professor Emeritus of Economics at Lewis & Clark College, Mary King, Professor Emerita of Economics at Portland State University, and Robin Hahnel, Professor Emeritus of Economics American University, can be found here.

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