Smith: The largest tax increase in Oregon history failed.
With Measure 97 Defeated, Oregon Small Business Owners Won on Election Day
Dear NFIB/Oregon members,
What a wild election – including here in Oregon. Thank you for the time you spent helping the candidates we supported, the financial contributions you made, and everything else you did throughout the campaign season. Undoubtedly, we made a difference in this election.
There are three big take-aways that I’d like to highlight for everyone who is interested in what these results mean for our state:
Measure 97, which would have been the largest tax increase in Oregon history, failed overwhelmingly. NFIB was part of the “No on 97” coalition and it was great to see the business community come together and show tremendous solidarity from the very beginning of the campaign all the way through election day. The NO side amassed 59% of the vote, with only 40% of Oregon voters supporting the measure, a margin of victory that should cause pro-tax special interests to think twice about proposing a similar measure in the future, and in other states.
Dennis Richardson has been elected Oregon’s next Secretary of State, defeating Brad Avakian, 47% to 43% respectively. This is significant for many reasons. He is the first NFIB-endorsed candidate for statewide office to be victorious in many years. You might remember that this is the first time NFIB has endorsed a candidate for Secretary of State in Oregon – that’s exciting! Richardson will be a great advocate for small business as Secretary of State, overseeing elections, state archives, state audits, Oregon’s Corporation Division, and the Office of Small Business Assistance.
In the days following the election, and after all the votes had been counted, there was only one major change in the makeup of the Oregon Legislature. Republicans gained one seat in the Oregon Senate, which means that both chambers are now one vote short of the three-fifths supermajority necessary to raise taxes on a party-line vote. That’s a big deal, especially since Measure 97 failed and there is likely going to a big fight ahead concerning the next state budget during the 2017 session.
I’m declaring this election a “win” for small businesses in Oregon. Could we have done a little better? Always… but you’ve got to take the wins when you get them – and this is surely a step in the right direction for our state.
Thank you for your part in this successful election,
Anthony K. Smith
NFIB/Oregon State Director