A proven approach to stretch our tax dollars
and address the economic and ecological crises
confronting our communities
The Oregon Public Bank Alliance is a network of activists and organizations working to create community-focused public banks in Oregon. Our mission is to help Oregon’s communities create public banks that serve their local communities and become the preferred banks of public institutions so all our communities can enjoy the economic stability and other benefits of public banks.
Stretching our Tax Dollars:
Oregonians have been confronted by a health crisis and several recessions that hurt our families, workers, small businesses, and our communities’ ability to fund critically needed infrastructure.
The Great Recession magnified the financial inequality of American society and highlighted the role big profit-driven banks play in undermining our economy as they made speculative loans then foreclosed on tens of millions of Americans. In response, people noticed how North Dakota weathered these financial crises better than any other state, and understood that the public Bank of North Dakota creates economic stability and resilience at the local and regional level. People realized we need banks that serve public needs, not private interests. Now, the movement to manage our public money with municipal banks is growing in cities throughout the country from California to DC.
Municipal banks help cities and towns stop wasting millions of taxpayers dollars on huge interest and fees to big out-of-state banks, and instead enable profits from public banks to be reinvested in our local communities. As a result, public banks help us get more for our tax dollars and weather economic turbulence.
The Fiscally Responsible Choice:
After a series of community conversations in 2018, we introduced the Municipal Bank Bill in the 2019 Oregon Legislative Session with 11 sponsors in the House and Senate. The bill creates a clear legal framework for municipalities to form public banks so communities can make taxpayer’s money go further by establishing independent municipal banks run by banking professionals for the common good and in the public interest. Since introducing that bill, other states from New Jersey to California have moved forward with passing laws to allow for municipal banks. This year we are returning with many more sponsors and look forward to continuing the conversation of how public banks can stretch public tax dollars and bring economic resilience to communities across Oregon. At a time when budgets are tight, helping Oregon communities maximize the impact of their tax dollars helps reduce their dependence on state funds and accomplish more with the resources we have. Passing clarifying legislation to help communities create public banks is the most appropriate and responsible fiscal response to the current crisis and will help us avoid or mitigate future crises
Let's keep our money local and reinvest profits back into our communities through public banks.
Public banks support local economic self-reliance by reinvesting profits back into the community instead of sendings millions of dollars in interest and fees to out-of-state Wall Street banks.
- STRETCHING OUR TAX DOLLARS – Public Banks reduce the cost of financing projects, resulting in lower built cost for infrastructure and social service systems. Using public bank bonds can cut the cost of buildings and bridges by as much as half, leaving more money available for other needed public services.
- LOCAL SELF RELIANCE – Municipal Banks help ensure the stability of local economies by keeping government money local. With a public bank, external economic influencers generating market turbulence have less impact on local businesses and communities, while keeping money local means more investment in our communities and more stability for local industries.
- PROSPEROUS AND EQUITABLE COMMUNITIES – The public Bank of North Dakota was created by farmers tired of paying exorbitant interest and fees for farm equipment, then having their farms foreclosed in hard times. By providing low-interest business and farm loans, and refusing to foreclose on family farms in the Great Depression, the public bank helped assure greater prosperity for communities across the state. The same can be true for us in these difficult times.