Comcast keeps $15M tax break after Oregon legislators fail in rollback bid

Comcast
If not for the tax law,Comcast would be liable for an additional $15 million in state taxes each year. (Comcast)

Oregon state legislators failed in their quest to roll back a tax break they passed unanimously in 2015 that was meant to spur competition for gigabit-speed internet services.

According to the The Oregonian, if not for the tax law,Comcast would be liable for an additional $15 million in state taxes each year, while Frontier Communications could take a $2.5 million annual hit. 

The tax law was intended to entice development of gigabit-speed internet services and was enthusiastically put on the books three years ago after vigorous lobbying from Google Fiber. Since then, Google Fiber has retrenched. And Comcast found a way to leverage access to the tax break with its $300 FTTH service that only a few in the state can afford. 

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Some Oregon lawmakers have soured on the law and are trying to roll it back. But a measure to do that didn’t clear the House early enough to avoid a Republican-led legislative slowdown. The state legislature adjourned without passaged of the rollback bill. 

RELATED: Comcast could lose $15M-a-year Oregon tax break

Speaking to the The Oregonian, Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick, D-Portland, who chairs the rules committee where House Bill 4027 died, said, ”I’m really disappointed we weren't able to get that one over the finish line.” 

"This happens every session," Burdick added. "You have to prioritize things and this one, frankly, we would have lost anyway."