SALEM -- A legal challenge to an obscure Oregon tax law has the potential to blow a big hole in the state budget.

Experts peg the cost at about $100 million a year in lost revenue if the state loses. It's still in an early stage and could take years to resolve, but officials are keeping a nervous eye on it because of the amount of money involved and because the State of California lost a very similar case.

Health insurer Health Net Inc., filed the suit in the Oregon Tax Court in July.

A separate case, challenging the state's interpretation of Measure 67's tax hike on businesses, has a much smaller price tag of $6 to $12 million a year. The state lost that case in tax court and has appealed.

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