Press Releases

Rob Cornilles’ Hypocrisy on Tax Breaks Made Worse by Evasive Answers

Dec 15, 2011


Contact: Trent Lutz  |  Executive Director  |  press [at] dpo [dot] org  |  (503) 239-8624

Portland, Ore. (December 15, 2011) – 

Investigative reports this week have revealed many inconsistent statements made by Rob Cornilles. The latest: As a candidate Cornilles says that tax breaks, credits and loopholes are a problem and it's unfair that “only the powerful get to take advantage” of those tax breaks. Yet Cornilles himself has received such tax breaks and just this year lobbied city officials to back a development proposal eligible for millions more in tax breaks.

A look at the hypocrisy by the numbers:

Taxpayer-Backed Loans Received: $9,000,000
Property Tax Break: $2,000,000
Lobbied for Tax Breaks Totaling: $30,000,000

As Willamette Week reported yesterday, records show that Cornilles and his wife are investors in a Northeast Portland retirement center “built with nearly $9 million in public loans. The center recently had its property tax abatement extended, a break that city officials estimate is worth $2 million.”

It was also reported that Cornilles lobbied for a pet project where taxpayers would foot part of the bill. He reportedly met with Portland city officials to lobby for an $80 million project for eligible for as much as $30 million in tax credits.

When asked yesterday by KATU about the proposal, Cornilles claimed he hadn’t read it – the same proposal he promoted just months ago.

“Rob Cornilles needs to reconcile his positions when it comes to tax breaks for the powerful because his campaign rhetoric doesn’t match his record,” said Trent Lutz, Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Oregon. “Does Rob really think that Oregon voters won’t notice the hypocrisy?”