Democratic rivals tackle taxes

Gubernatorial candidates John Kitzhaber and Bill Bradbury square off on sales tax.

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Democratic gubernatorial candidates John Kitzhaber and Bill Bradbury argued their positions on taxes and budget issues at a debate Wednesday night.

And while Kitzhaber pushed for introducing a sales tax or another option to reduce reliance on income taxes, Bradbury said he would instead cut income tax breaks by hundreds of millions of dollars.

Kitzhaber, who has pushed for a sales tax several times during his three decades in politics, said the state’s heavy reliance on the income tax leads to huge drops in revenue every time the economy dips. He also expressed concern it could discourage business investors who don’t want to pay the state’s relatively high rate on capital gains and other income.

“The question is, do we want to broaden our tax base and what are our options?” Kitzhaber said. “Obviously a retail sales tax is one of the options, but there are a variety of other options as well.”

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{biztweet}John Kitzhaber Bill Bradbury sales tax{/biztweet}

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