Merkley Senate Run Poses Big Tax Problem

Taxpayer Association Press Release 8-1-07:

Merkley Senate Run Poses Big Tax Problem
State Representative Jeff Merkley who is running for the U.S. Senate, may have to contend with nearly 10 years of tax increase votes.

“Having voted to raise billions of dollars in higher taxes and fees in Oregon, State Rep. Jeff Merkley now wants to raise billions more by seeking a run to the U.S. Senate in 2008. Few people in the legislature are more aggressive about passing new taxes than State Rep. Jeff Merkley.” said Jason Williams of the Taxpayer Association of Oregon. The Taxpayers Association of Oregon compiled a list of his tax votes dating back to 1999 to demonstrate a very forceful record of raising taxes at all levels of government (see below).

Largest tax increase in Oregon history: Voted Yes HB2152 in 2003, the largest tax increase in Oregon history ($800 million). Rejected by voters as Measure 30.
Higher income taxes (HB 2152) Rejected by voters.
New taxes on Oregon’s seniors (HB2152). Rejected by voters.
Increased property taxes (HB2152). Rejected by voters.
New small business tax (HB2152). Rejected by voters.
Income Tax Surcharge: A $700 million tax increase (HB4079 in 2002). An increase later rejected by voters when placed on the ballot as Measure 28.
New corporate taxes: (HB3068 in 2005)
Raiding Kicker Tax Refunds: Voted to suspend the “kicker” (HB3216 in 2005), voted to raid a 1/’3rd of the kicker funds (2001 as SB 963), voted against putting kicker in constitution which was overwhelmingly approved by voters (1999 as HJR 17)
Higher transportation taxes: Voted to double vehicle license fees (2001 as HB 2142) and higher airline fuel taxes (1999 as HB2199)
38 New Tax Increases: Lead Democrats in sponsoring 38 new tax increases in the 2005 session.
Make it easier for local governments to raise taxes: Paved the way for increased property taxes by supporting H.J.R. 15 in 2007, a resolution proposed to eliminate the double majority rule for property tax measures.
Opposed tax cuts: Twice Merkley twice opposed cutting capital gains taxes (2001 as SB 67, 2005 as HB 2332).
Oppose Bush Tax Cuts: Merkley voted against supporting the popular Bush tax cuts which bounced the nation out of the recession (2001 as House Joint Memorial 28).

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Note on HB 2152-: Raises Income Tax Rate at graduated rates from 1%-9% to collect $544 million. Removes Medical Deduction for thousands of seniors based in part on age and on income level. Increases property tax burden by cutting in half the early payment discount (which is used heavily by seniors). Increases Small business taxes by raising the corporate minimum tax from $10 to as much as $5,000. Bill also eliminated business tax credits,

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