Business Tax Credits Get Released from Key Legislative Committee
— Many Tax Credits Spared, But Nearly All Are Trimmed Down
By J.L. Wilson
Associated Oregon Industries 
The Joint House/Senate Committee on Tax Credits gave final approval to the 2011 package of business tax credits, paving the way for an expedited vote in the House and Senate. The package is contained in HB 3672. Passage is expected. AOI supports the legislation.
The good news is that AOI’s supported credit – the R&D Tax Credit – was saved. So was the Film and Video Tax Credit. The Business Energy Tax Credit was split into a series of smaller, more tailored credits (Renewable Energy Credit, Energy Conservation Credit, etc.). However, none of these credits were spared from budget realities.
The Joint Committee worked under a directive to reduce the price tag of many of the credits that were up for review. Nearly $38m in credits were reviewed this session.
As a result, the maximum R&D Credit per company was reduced from $2m to $1m. The Film and Video Credit will also eventually be pared back from $7.5m per year to $6m.
But a late addition into the bill will hopefully make Oregon more competitive in attracting company locations here. The “Oregon Investment Advantage” tax credit, advocated by Representative Greg Smith (R-Heppner), offers a 10-year income tax holiday for companies that relocate from other states and bring at least five full-time jobs to Oregon. The program is used as an economic development tool for rural Oregon counties with high unemployment rates.