Democrats have many bills to raise taxes

By Sen. Doug Whitsett (R-Distr 28)
We are pleased to report that following today’s closure the Oregon courts will not be closed on Fridays. Legislative leadership and the Co-Chairs of Ways and Means were able to work with the Judicial Branch to alter their budget to free up sufficient funding to allow the courts to remain open. We congratulate Co-Chairs Senator Carter and Representative Buckley for their successful work with Chief Justice De Muniz to resolve this budget issue. It is our intent to work collaboratively together to insure that the courts will remain open through the next difficult budget cycle.


The growth of Oregon government spending has exceeded the growth in
family income by a five to one margin since 2001. According to the
Legislative Fiscal Office and the US Census Bureau, Oregon state
government spending has grown 40 percent from $34 billion to $48
billion over the past four budget cycles. During the same period Oregon
median family income has grown 12 percent from $39,798 to $44,682. This
spending addiction is unsustainable. It is a primary cause of the
current budget shortfalls and inadequate reserves that have required
the distressing budget reductions we are now experiencing.
legislative bills that raise revenue must be introduced in the House of
Representatives. House Democrats have introduced a number of revenue
raising bills that either increase taxes or increase fees.

than addressing that spending addiction, our legislators are focused on
raising taxes. In fact, they have introduced more than 50 bills that
increase taxes and more than 100 bills combined that increase taxes and

 HB 2077
would reduce the federal income tax exemption from $3,000 to $1,500.
would raise taxes on every Oregonian who pays more than $1,500 in
federal income tax. The bill is retroactive to January 1, 2009. In the
first year this bill would increase the income tax on Oregon taxpayers
by about $120 million.

HB 2649
an Oregon alternative minimum income tax. The bill would levy a minimum
7.5 percent minimum tax on adjusted gross income of $125,000 for single
taxpayers or $250,000 for joint filers. AGI is the amount of income
after the expenses of earning that income have been deducted. In the
first year this bill would increase the income tax on Oregon taxpayers
by about $145 million.
HB 2651
a new tax bracket establishing a 10 percent income tax on taxable
income exceeding $125,000 for single taxpayers or $250,000 for joint
filers. This new tax bracket would add $89 million to Oregon taxpayers
during the first year.

HB 2474
reduce the discount for property tax payments collected by November 15
from 3 percent to 2 percent and for two-thirds payment from
2 percent to 1 percent. This bill would have the net affect of increasing all timely paid property taxes by 1 percent.

 HB 3415
a tax on each fuel supplier and utility based upon the amount of carbon
in carbon-based fuels that are sold by the fuel supplier to consumers
in the state. It also would tax all carbon or carbon-based fuel used to
produce carbon-generated electricity that is supplied by any utility to
consumers in Oregon.
HJR 48
to amend the Oregon Constitution to allow the Legislative Assembly to
impose taxes on carbon emissions for the purpose of funding reductions
in carbon emissions and carbon fuel use.

HB 2696
add back to Oregon taxable income any capitol gains tax reductions
achieved through a 1031 real property exchange. The practical effect
would be to abolish the Oregon capitol gains savings now available with
1031 real property exchanges.

HB 2785
suspend the Oregon income tax credit for political contributions for
two years. This would have the practical effect of increasing the
Oregon income tax liability by $50 for each taxpayer who makes
political contributions and claims the tax credit. 

 HB 2818
establish a 12.5 percent tax on all automobile rentals having a
contract duration of 30 days or less. The tax revenue would be
collected for the Department of Transportation for highway purposes.

HB 2771
a tax exemption for small winemakers thereby increasing taxes on their
operations. HB 2461 levies a draconian tax on beer called the
prevention, treatment and recovery tax on malt beverages.

HB 3406
, HB 2122, and HB 2018
all increase taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products.

HB 2698
add back contributions to employee stock ownership plans to Oregon
taxable income. Contributions to stock ownership plans by both
employees and their employees are currently exempt from federal taxable
This bill would make those contributions by both employees
and employers taxable for Oregon income tax. HB 3309
similarly reduces the deductibility of currently tax exempt gains in annuities.

HB 3312
, HJR 27
, HJR 29
and HJR 31
propose to reduce the amount of allowable income tax deduction and
credits that are not required under federal law. The final three bills
propose to amend the Oregon Constitution to facilitate more taxation.

HB 3303
my personal favorite. This bill levies a 10 percent excise tax on bird
seed. This bill should be a prime candidate for the "turkey of the
It would appear that our legislative colleagues may
be unaware that our state and national economies are in shambles and
that the people who live in most of the geographic area of Oregon are
suffering through unemployment as high as twenty percent. We invite you
to let them know how you feel about their solutions to our revenue
problem. You can find the contact information for all 90 elected
officials on the Oregon State Legislature website
<> . Please be sure to let us know of
your opinions and concerns as well.

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