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Lance Randall, Executive Director, Black Business Association of Oregon
Lance Randall, Black Business Association of Oregon
Published: 26 April 2023

The Black Business Association of Oregon (BBAO) is committed to achieving sustainable, lasting economic equity through the ups and downs of our economy. We focus on growing Black businesses, entrepreneurs, students, and communities in the state of Oregon. For us, economic equity is not just a catchphrase, but a critical goal that we pursue with passion and determination.

Unfortunately, Measure 26-238, a proposed local capital gains tax, runs counter to this goal. This proposed tax creates new barriers to success for Black-owned businesses who too-often face economic inequities that are rooted in historic and ongoing systemic racism. This tax is unfair and a burden on Black business owners in an already-challenging economic environment.

A much broader impact

This poorly written measure will have a much broader impact than its supporters claim: All Multnomah County residents, regardless of income, will pay this tax on every dollar of capital gains, because there are no safeguards written into the measure.

Small and mid-sized locally owned businesses will pay this tax, and seniors and retirees will pay this tax.

We need to support critical services that keep housing affordable and help families stay in their homes. Multnomah County is already funding eviction prevention programs, including legal representation and emergency rent assistance, thanks to the voter-approved Supportive Housing Services tax. And the legislature just allocated millions more to these services.

Adding a local capital gains tax is unnecessary, and a step in the wrong direction. While Measure 26-238 seems to be well-intentioned, it’s the impact that matters—and Measure 26-238 would do more harm than good, disproportionately affecting the Black-owned businesses we represent and harming Multnomah County’s economic growth.

Black communities have faced systemic obstacles to achieving economic security and building generational wealth. Access to capital and opportunities for entrepreneurship have been limited, and institutional barriers make it harder for Black-owned businesses to secure the resources they need to thrive. At BBAO, we address these challenges by providing the support and resources that Black-owned businesses need to grow and succeed. The last thing our members need is another local tax.

Vote no on Measure 26-238

We at BBAO urge you to join us in voting no on Measure 26-238 on May 16. At a time when businesses and individuals are leaving the county, let’s not put another burden on the backs of small businesses and families. By voting no, we can send a message that we value the success of Black-owned businesses and recognize the importance of providing them with the resources they need to thrive. Let's work together to build a stronger, more equitable economy for all members of our community.

Read The Skanner's story:  Black Business Association of Oregon Fights ‘Invisible Knee’ to Economic Equity

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