Lawmakers hear testimony on Nike tax deal

Lawmakers hear testimony on Nike tax deal

Credit: Getty Images

EUGENE, OR - JUNE 30: Co-founder and chairman of Nike, Phil Knight attends day nine of the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at the Hayward Field on June 30, 2012 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Phil Knight

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by JONATHAN J. COOPER, Associated Press

kgw.com

Posted on December 14, 2012 at 7:23 AM

SALEM -- Gov. John Kitzhaber acknowledges his decision to abruptly call the Legislature into special session to approve a tax incentive for Nike is "extraordinarily awkward."

But the governor says the potential economic development benefits are worth it. He spoke Thursday before a legislative committee created to consider legislation requested by Kitzhaber and Nike.

The full Legislature is scheduled to meet on Friday, four days after Kitzhaber stunned legislators with news of the special session.

Nike says it will expand in Oregon and hire at least 500 people if the state will immediately promise that the method of calculating its state income taxes won't change.

Some legislators have questioned the need for such immediate action when the Legislature is scheduled to meet in February.

Critics, in the meantime, have been pushing the Oregon Legislature to delay a decision on Nike's request for emergency legislation.

The critics spoke Thursday to state lawmakers who oversee tax policy. They questioned the need and urgency or the legislation. Legislators wrestled with potential changes to the legislation a day before they'll meet in special session to consider it. The session was expected to cost taxpayers about $13,000.

 

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