SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Nike wants to expand its Oregon operations and hire hundreds of workers but is asking the government to promise it won't change the state tax code.
Gov. John Kitzhaber says he'll call the Legislature into session Friday to create a law to give Nike its wish.
The company has not specified its expansion plans except to say it would create at least 500 jobs and $150 million in capital investment over five years.
Nike Inc. has its headquarters in Beaverton, outside Portland. Company officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
It employs 44,000 people globally, including 8,000 in Washington County.
Nike has been selling off brands and making other moves to focus on its most profitable businesses, which include its namesake Nike brand, Jordan, Converse and Hurley.
Governor Kitzhaber Calls Special Legislative Session to Secure Jobs and Investment
(Salem, OR) — The Oregon Legislature will meet in Special Session on Friday, December 14, to consider authorizing Governor Kitzhaber to enter into agreements with companies committing to significant job growth and investment in Oregon. The Governor called the session at a news conference today where he emphasized an extraordinary opportunity exists to boost Oregon’s economy with high wage jobs.
“With legislative action this week, Oregon can secure high wage jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars of new private investment in the next five years,” said Governor Kitzhaber. “In fact, Nike is ready to commit to a significant expansion of its Oregon operations if the state can provide certainty we won’t change tax rules after they make a new investment. It’s an easy call and a perfect fit with our strategy to attract and retain companies that create jobs and boost per capita income.”
The Economic Impact Investment Act would allow the Governor to enter into qualifying investment contracts with any company committing to a minimum of 500 jobs and $150 million in capital investment over five years. The Act creates a new economic development tool and has no fiscal impact on the state.
Nike would expand to accommodate current and future job growth. Nike’s employment in Oregon has grown 60 percent since 2007 with an average annual compensation of over $100,000, about double state and regional averages. A recent analysis by AECOM, a global professional services firm, estimates the economic impact of a potential expansion to be more than $2 billion a year and more than 12,000 jobs by 2020 (direct, indirect and induced). Construction alone accounts for about $440 million and more than 2,900 jobs.
“Private sector job growth is driving Oregon’s economic recovery, but state government has an important role to play in helping create a business climate to accelerate that growth,” said Oregon Business Association President Ryan Deckert. “We've been focused on finding ways to boost wages, and the Economic Impact Investment Act will be a powerful tool to drive per capita income up in Oregon.”
Governor Kitzhaber is convening the special session under his authority pursuant to section 12, Article V of the Oregon Constitution.
Link to Proclamation: http://www.oregon.gov/gov/docs/executive_orders/eo_SpecialSession2012.pdf
Statement From Co-Speaker Bruce Hanna on December Special Session
(SALEM) – House Co-Speaker Bruce Hanna (R-Roseburg) issued the following statement this morning regarding the special session of the Legislature scheduled for December 14:
“Not enough has been done to create an environment for robust economic growth and job creation in Oregon. The legislation we will move during the special session is a simple way to create enormous long-term benefit for our state, its people and its economy. While special sessions are never ideal, this opportunity for Oregon demands immediate action.
Providing greater certainty in tax policy for a company interested in investing $150 million or more is a step in the right direction for creating a better climate for industry within our state. I am pleased to be a part of this discussion and support the idea of a session to move this legislation forward.”
Statement from House Speaker-nominee Tina Kotek:
“We’re doing everything we can to create and retain quality jobs, while ensuring we have an open and transparent conversation. Job creation is a top priority. We’re going to have an open process to make sure we are growing Oregon businesses and jobs in Oregon.”
Statement from House Democratic Leader Val Hoyle
“This is an opportunity that we could not let pass us by. I’m excited that we’ll be putting so many people to work with high paying jobs. It is critical that in the next few years we do everything possible to speed up Oregon’s steady economic recovery. House Democrats are dedicated to keeping our business climate strong to grow Oregon jobs. ”