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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow GOVERNOR'S FORUM

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GOVERNOR'S FORUM

BEAVERTON (AP) — Democratic candidates for governor pushed for public works projects to boost the state's economy while the Republicans called for tax breaks for business in a forum Friday on economic issues.

The six major contenders for nominations in the May 21 primary election met in the last of a series of forums sponsored by the League of Women Voters and the Hatfield School of Government.

The topic was how the candidates would improve the state's lagging economy at the session held at Nike headquarters before an audience of several hundred.

Republicans Kevin Mannix and Ron Saxton said the state's tax on business capital gains needs to be slashed. Mannix said Oregon's rate at 6.6 percent is the second highest in the nation and shows ‘‘the state's hostility to business.''

Mannix said as governor he would push to cut the rate in half. Saxton said he would reduce capital gains basic tax to 5 percent, but to zero for money reinvested in Oregon within 24 months. He also called for tax credits to stimulate employers to create jobs.

Among the Democrats, Ted Kulongoski, in a program he's advocated before, said the state needs to invest $1 billion to address the problem of cracked and crumbling bridges.

Kulongoski said the work itself would create 2,600 jobs and that the poor bridge system ‘‘is about to cut our farms and factories from their economic lifelines'' because of transportation

problems.

Democrat Jim Hill said he would speed up state bond sales for public works projects. For a short term economic nudge, he said the state should quickly boost its efforts to attract more tourists during the coming months.

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