Under-the-table debate

In a debate on under-the-table pay, two Oregon legislators weigh in on the negative effects.

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Senator Floyd Prozanski and Representative Paul Holvey argue that paying under the table results in billions of dollars of lost revenue for the state, while Annemarie Bailey Fowler of Opportunity@Work says preventing under-the-table payments hurts those in the “informal workforce,” including low-wage and self-employed workers.

[Prozanski and Holvey]: The “underground economy” hurts government and private businesses. It directly affects government’s ability to fund public services such as education, public safety, and human services. It also undercuts legitimate private businesses. It is imperative—especially in hard economic times—for state governments to take action by holding tax cheats accountable…

[Bailey Fowler]: While we would never advocate tax evasion, we know a growing array of families that don’t make enough despite their hard work. Punishing low-income and low-wage Americans trying to support their families, by asking them to carve out even a percentage of $20,000, could send them over the edge into homelessness, a cycle of poverty, or worse.

Read the full story at BusinessWeek.

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