Democrat-led state that’s ‘killing businesses’ could shrink amid push to secede in several counties

Eleven Oregon counties voted to secede from the state and join Idaho over high taxes, crime

After 11 Oregon counties approved a preliminary vote to secede from the Democrat-led state, local leaders around the movement are explaining how the urban-rural divide has left them with no other choice.

"People in eastern Oregon have felt like their state-level governance has not heard them, has not paid attention to our concerns, and has not been working for eastern Oregon," Greater Idaho Movement spokesperson Matt McCaw said on "Fox & Friends First" Monday.

McCaw, along with Oregon business owner Sandie Gilson, supports the idea of having select counties elect to move their state borderlines so state-level governance would come from Idaho.

"The west side of Oregon is very populated, very urban, and very left-leaning, whereas the east side of the state is very rural, very conservative, and it's much more economically, culturally, politically similar to Idaho," McCaw explained.


Over the last two years, the Greater Idaho Movement has worked to gather constituent sentiment around the proposal. Business owners like Gilson sounded off on Oregon’s tax policy, detailing the burden taken on by a corporate activity tax.

Oregon state outline with money background

Eleven Oregon counties' proposal to move their borders within Idaho's governance would be a "win-win" for all involved parties, Greater Idaho Movement spokesperson Matt McCaw said on "Fox & Friends First" Monday, February 6, 2023. (Fox News)

"I hate it," Gilson also said on Monday. "It is actually driving out businesses, especially here in rural Oregon. We're losing pharmacies and other businesses like that."

"So every time a dollar comes into the business, over $1,000,000 in gross take, they are taxed on that before they pay their employees, before they pay for their cost of goods or anything," she explained. "It is a tax on the gross income of businesses, and it is killing businesses, especially out here in eastern Oregon."

The decision to secede from the state, McCaw argued, would be a "win-win" for all involved parties.

"What we're trying to do is we're trying to match people up with a government that they actually want and that matches their values," the spokesperson said. "They want a conservative government. They should get the government they want."

Idaho would be taking a "financial win" by adopting these 11 counties, he continued.

"It would help lower gridlock, lower political tension, and it would give both sides of [Oregon] the government that they actually want."

The formal state bill, called the Greater Idaho Bill, was introduced to the Oregon legislature on Jan. 10.

Idaho state leaders reportedly motioned for formal discussions about the proposal last week, noting the purpose is to "begin official discussions on whether it is feasible to move the Idaho border into eastern Oregon."

However, if Idaho and Oregon were to negotiate a border adjustment, U.S. Congress would have to sign off on it, in addition to both Oregon and Idaho legislatures.


The plan would create what would become the nation’s third-largest state geographically.

"They’re looking at Idaho fondly because of our strong economy, regulatory atmosphere and our values," Idaho Gov. Brad Little, a Republican, said last year, according to The Seattle Times. "There’s a lot that needs to happen before moving the border is within the realm of possibility."


Fox News’ Julia Musto contributed to this report.