In the news

The Portland Business Journal
Andy Giegerich

Oregon’s Senate has unanimously passed a measure that would require information on state-issued tax incentives to be posted on a “transparency” website.

House Bill 2825 aims to demonstrate “the real impact” of how well incentive programs work, said Sen. Ginny Burdick, a Portland Democrat, in a statement.

“This knowledge will improve the accountability of programs to ensure the public gets the best return on investment possible,” she said. “In the long run, this will save taxpayers money and improve government efficiency.”

HB 2825 requires state agencies to report on tax expenditures for economic development purposes. The bill requires incentive recipients to disclose:

The name and address of the taxpayer receiving any tax expenditure related to economic development.

The amount of the tax expenditure received.

Promised and actual results related to the project receiving the tax expenditure.

Explanations of state agency certification decisions.

The measure stems partly from 2009 legislation calling for all tax credits to sunset and undergo review.

The Oregon transparency website will post information on rural renewable energy development zones, strategic investment programs, food processing equipment abatements, electronic commerce enterprise zones, film production development contributions and film production labor rebates.

Oregon’s House also passed the measure unanimously.

“This proposal will prevent fraud and waste of our public resources and ensure that Oregonians get the greatest return on our investment possible with these job-creation programs,” said David Rosenfeld, executive director of the Oregon State Public Interest Research Group, in a statement.

The bill now goes to Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber for his signature.

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