Rob Freres, the president of Linn County timber company Freres Lumber, today energized Defeat the Tax on Oregon Sales Now, the campaign committee seeking to refer a newly passed Oregon corporate tax measure to voters.
A filing with the secretary of state shows Freres today contributed $1 million to the referral campaign.
As WW recently reported, Freres angrily resigned from the states' largest business association, Oregon Business & Industry, because he didn't think OBI did enough to stop or shape the new corporate activities tax, which will charge businesses what a amounts to a .57 percent sales tax on transactions.
Critics of the new tax, House Bill 3247, dubbed "the Student Success Act," announced plans to refer the measure to voters in early June. Freres' contribution will give them much of the money they will need to gather signatures to qualify for the ballot. That process requires that they gather 74,680 valid signatures within 90 days of the Legislature concluding its 2019 session (the end date will probably be in the final week of June).
Freres is not the only timber company leader angry about both the tax increase and Democrats top environmental policy, House Bill 2020, the cap-and-trade bill, which would raise the price of fossil fuels in order to drive down consumption.
Stimson Lumber CEO Andrew Miller announced earlier this month he's moving 60 jobs from the company's Forest Grove mill to other Stimson plants in Idaho and Montana. Miller attributed the decision to policies pushed by Democratic super-majorities in Salem.