Small business pleads lawmakers to halt destructive CAT tax

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By Oregon Small Business Association

The Oregon Small Business Association urges Legislature to stop the destructive CAT tax immediately.

The first quarterly estimated payments for Oregon’s new “Corporate Activities Tax” on sales (not profits) are due April 30, even as many businesses’ cash flows collapse under Gov. Kate Brown’s orders for some businesses to close and other businesses’ customers follow her order to “stay at home.”

Much of the Legislature’s Special Joint Committee on Coronavirus Response recommended a delay of CAT payments to help keep small businesses afloat.

Many economist are predicting a possible 20% unemployment due to the economic shutdown. These are levels not seen since the Great Depression. Oregon has witnessed a 3,000% increase in jobless claims.

Many small businesses will be caught paying this CAT tax as they are hemorrhaging the loss of customers, workers and revenue. The CAT tax is severe because it is taxes primarily revenue instead of profits.

Gov. Brown has legal authority to delay CAT payments without legislation. Small businesses should write to Gov. Brown, House Speaker Kotek and Senate President Peter Courtney today, and ask them to delay or repeal the CAT tax.