Gov. Brown endorses Measure 97

After getting flak from all sides of the political spectrum for her neturality on Measure 97, formerly Initative Petition 28, Gov. Kate Brown officially endorsed the measure on Aug. 4.

The measure proposes a 2.5 percent tax on corporations with annual Oregon sales of more than $25 million. The revenue from that would go toward bolstering Oregon’s underfunded school system as well as supporting senior services and health care.

From her campaign website:

I have spent my career fighting to make Oregon a place where everyone can thrive. I support Measure 97 because there is a basic unfairness in our tax system that makes working families pay an increasing share for state and local services, including public schools, senior services and health care. By some measures, Oregon is among the lowest in corporate taxes, and Oregonians expect everyone to pay their fair share.

Our state cannot move forward and meet Oregon’s growing needs over the next decade without a more stable revenue base. Measure 97 is an important step forward, and I will make sure the funds the measure yields go towards schools, health care and seniors, as the voters expect.

Critics of Measure 97 say that there’s no way to guarantee that the revenue generated by the proposed tax would actually be used for schools and other public services.

While the decision is ultimately up to the Oregon Legislature, having the governor on record promising to follow through on the intent of Measure 97 helps its credibility, and legislators have made similar promises on record.

However, someone ought to tell Oregon candidate for governor Bud Pierce that Brown has endorsed the measure — he still has a live clock running on his website counting the days until Brown takes a position on the business tax. He sent a letter to Brown last September urging her to come out against it. Now he has his answer.

In the same announcement, Brown endorsed five other ballot measures, including a measure to support outdoor schools with lottery funds and a measure that would allocate funds to bolster dropout prevention in high schools.