Survey: Business leaving due to taxes

By Oregon Business & Industry

Survey Shows Stunning Number of Businesses are Considering Leaving Oregon Due to Taxes

Due to recently passed new taxes and increases of existing taxes, at both the state and local levels, a stunning number of Oregon businesses are now giving serious consideration to leaving Oregon according to findings from a survey of nearly 500 business CPAs and local chamber of commerce leaders.

The survey, sponsored by Oregon Business & Industry (OBI) and conducted in the spring and summer of 2021, shows the roster of new local and statewide taxes imposed in Oregon over the last three years have created a negative perception of the cumulative impact of these taxes on business owners and employers. As a result, most report that they have clients or members who are considering leaving the Portland region – or the state altogether, while others are considering pulling back on future Oregon investments, including restricting new hiring.

“The results of this survey should give state lawmakers and local elected leaders pause,” said OBI President and CEO Angela Wilhelms. “Our tax policies, especially recent new taxes and local tax increases, are driving away Oregon’s businesses and job creators.”

Key survey findings include:

– Over 80% of the responding Oregon accountants and chamber leaders have business clients or members which are considering relocating due to taxes
– Of those businesses considering relocation, most are considering making investments in other states or shifting production to another state. Some are even considering closing all operations in Oregon
– More than 85% of accountants also have individual clients who are considering leaving Oregon due to personal income tax burdens
– The taxes causing the most concern among businesses and individuals are the Corporate Activity Tax (CAT), the Multnomah County Individual Income (Preschool for All) Tax, and the Metro Income (Homeless Services) Tax

View full survey report here.

The 2021 survey follows an October 2020 report commissioned by OBI and the State Tax Research Institute and conducted by Ernst & Young which shows that, due to recently-passed state tax changes, Oregon businesses will see a 41% increase in state taxes by 2022, while the Portland-metro region is facing an additional 23% increase in local taxes.

“Taxes in Oregon at both the statewide and local levels are negatively impacting our business communities,” Wilhelms said. “These Oregon employers, the backbone of our economy, see recent tax increases as harmful to their ability to grow, hire, compete and succeed; and they are now clearly beginning to vote with their feet.”

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