Upper Left Coast

Thoughts on politics, faith, sports and other random topics from a red state sympathizer in indigo-blue Portland, Oregon.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Follow-up to education funding post

I re-read my post from yesterday, and realized there was one point I intended to expand upon, but forgot.

I quoted Kris Kain of the Oregon Education Funding, who advocated the elimination of corporate tax breaks as part of the solution to the education funding issue.

I then paraphrased it this way: She asks that "the evil private corporations that employ those of us in the private sector pay more, since providing jobs is clearly not sufficient."

I intended to throw a bone to Ms. Kain on this issue, because it's clear that some corporations are finding ways around paying taxes, with Portland General Electric being the posterchild. If PGE can collect millions of dollars from customers for taxes, but then not pay those taxes, that's a blatant abuse of the system that deserves to be changed. State Representatives Rick Metsger and Vicki Walker recently wrote in The Oregonian that PGE has charged Oregon taxpayers more than $750 million since 1997, but paid none of that to the state or federal governments.

Another utility, PacifiCorp, charged Oregon ratepayers more than $88 million for state and federal income taxes in 2002 but paid the state minimum income tax of $10.

However, I suspect that even common-sense reforms like the ones Metsger and Walker are advocating will not be sufficient for Ms. Kain, thus my acidic comment that private corporations are "evil" and that those paid by my tax dollars will never recognize the value of the jobs provided by those corporations.


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