Enjoy the illusion that you’re not really paying taxes, when you cash that expensive refund check

By Steve Buckstein Are you happy getting three extra days to file your income tax returns this year? For nearly eighty percent of us, it doesn’t matter much because we are expecting refunds. No check writing for us. Why? Because … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Federal Government, Taxes | Tagged , , | 27 Comments

How Much of the Year Do Your Taxes Cost?

By Kathryn Hickok If every penny earned since the beginning of the year went to pay federal, state, and local taxes, Americans would have to work until the middle of April just to cover their tax bills. Tax Freedom Day … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Economy, Federal Budget, Federal Government, Government Spending, Local Taxes, Oregon Government, State Budget, State Government, State Taxes, Taxes | Tagged | 33 Comments

WES at 7: Still a Financial Train Wreck

By John A. Charles, Jr. February marks the seven-year anniversary of the Westside Express Service (WES), the 15-mile commuter rail line that runs from Wilsonville to Beaverton. While the train’s owner, TriMet, promotes WES as a transit success story, the … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Metro, Oregon Government, Political Correctness, Portland Politics, Public Transportation, Taxes, Transportation, TriMet | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

BETC scandal highlights bigger problems in state government

by Sen. Doug Whitsett Governments often attempt to impose their social and political doctrines by using public funds to influence investment behavior. One method of choice is issuing tax credits that encourage and induce speculation in ventures that free market … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Government Abuse, Government corruption, Government Waste, State Taxes, Taxes | 2 Comments

New Transportation Funding Bill: Going Nowhere FAST

By John A. Charles, Jr. Earlier this month, Congress passed H.R. 22, a five-year transportation funding bill known as Fixing America’s Surface Transportation, or FAST. Under the terms of FAST, the federal Highway Trust Fund will take in about $208 billion … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Congress, Economy, Federal Budget, Federal Government, Taxes, Transportation | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

Revisiting Republican Congressional Campaign Commitments (3rd Edition)

This is the second update to a column I wrote in April of this year and updated in July. It will also be the last because nothing has changed. Nothing is likely to change and the thought of revisiting the … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in 2016 Election, Congress, Foreign Relations, Government Waste, Illegal Immigration, Leadership, Obamacare, Paul Ryan, Taxes | 8 Comments

Is TriMet Better Off Than Greece?

By John A. Charles, Jr. Syndicated financial writer Malcolm Berko recently advised a small investor to stay away from Greek bonds or securities. He wrote, “Greece has morphed into a bureaucratic five-star welfare state; but in reality, Greece is a … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Local Taxes, Oregon Government, Portland, Portland Politics, Public Transportation, State Government, State Taxes, Taxes, Transparency, TriMet, Unions | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

No Taxes on Family Gifts

Common Sense for Oregon Picture this scenario: the year is 2017. Oregon’s economy has rebounded nicely from the Great Recession. More people are moving into the state, and more people – including business owners, farmers and families – are staying … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in State Taxes, Taxes | 7 Comments

Expatriates on the Rise

Billionaire and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump created a political uproar when he declared that: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Economy, Government Abuse, Illegal Immigration, Land Use Laws, President Obama, State Taxes, Taxes | 15 Comments

Am I accountable for the abortions I fund?

by Dan Lucas In the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion. Since that ruling, there have been more than 53 million abortions in the U.S. That’s more lives stopped than the entire population of the … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Abortion, Religious Liberty, State Taxes, Taxes | 175 Comments

Revisiting Republican Congressional Campaign Commitments (2nd Edition)

This in an update to a column I wrote in April of this year. The italics reflect the previous column while the updates are in regular type: During the 2014 congressional campaigns the Republicans told us that if we would … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in 2014 Election, 2016 Election, 2016 Presidential Election, Congress, GOP, Government reform, Hillary Clinton, Illegal Immigration, Leadership, Obamacare, President Obama, Taxes | 7 Comments

Will “Free” Tuition Make College Cost More?

By Thomas Tullis On July 17, Governor Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 81, the “Oregon Promise” legislation that allocates $10 million to a “free” community college tuition program for Oregon students. With college tuition having increased ten-fold over the last … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Education, Gov. Kate Brown, Government Spending, OR 78th Legislative Session, Oregon Government, State Budget, State Government, State Taxes, Taxes | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

Deschutes GOP to oppose local gas tax

Deschutes County Republicans BEND, OR – The Deschutes County Republicans announced their opposition to a gas tax for the City of Bend, after continued suggestions from city councilors that it could appear on the ballot in an upcoming election. Local … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:51 | Posted in Local Taxes, Taxes | 4 Comments

Don’t Steal the Kicker

By Steve Buckstein Would you like to pay $284 less in Oregon personal income tax next year? That’s what the average taxpayer may save if Oregon’s constitutional kicker law is allowed to take effect. The kicker law requires that if … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Economy, Government Spending, Oregon Government, Oregon House, State Budget, State Government, State Taxes, Taxes | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Tax lesson found in Portland Art Museum?

Tax lesson found in Portland Art Museum? By Taxpayer Association of Oregon OregonWatchdog.com There I was enjoying the spectacular Italian Fashion history exhibit at the Portland Art Museum when suddenly I stumbled upon a real-life tax lesson. Near the end … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Taxes | 13 Comments

A Generational Mistake

By Steve Buckstein The Oregon Supreme Court last week struck down key 2013 legislative reforms to the Oregon Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) that would have saved taxpayers billions of dollars. The Court in effect added some $5 billion back … Continue reading

Posted by at 04:30 | Posted in Economy, Government reform, Oregon Government, PERS, Public Employee Unions, Public Employees Retirement System, State Government, State Taxes, Taxes | Tagged , , , | 21 Comments

America’s 2015 Tax Bill? It’s 31% of the Work Year

By Kathryn Hickok Tax Freedom Day arrives this year on April 24, six days later than it was two years ago. Tax Freedom Day is a calendar-based measure of Americans’ cumulative tax bill. It is calculated as the day on … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Economy, Employment, Federal Budget, Federal Government, Government Spending, Government Waste, Jobs, Taxes | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

TriMet’s Great Disappearing Act

By John A. Charles, Jr. During the 2003 session of the Oregon State Legislature, TriMet sought an increase in the regional payroll tax rate. In public testimony, TriMet General Manager Fred Hansen said, “TriMet’s proposed payroll tax increase will be … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Economy, Government Spending, Government Waste, Local Taxes, Oregon Government, Portland, Portland Politics, Public Transportation, State Government, State Taxes, Taxes, Transparency, Transportation, TriMet, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Cascade Report Exposes $2.6 Billion in Unfunded Liabilities

By Kathryn Hickok Cascade Policy Institute has released a new report showing that Oregon public employers have more than $2.6 billion in unfunded actuarially accrued liabilities associated with non-pension benefits promised to current and future retirees. Referred to as “Other … Continue reading

Posted by at 01:14 | Posted in Economy, Government reform, Government Spending, Leadership, Oregon Government, Oregon House, Oregon Senate, PERS, Portland, Portland Politics, Public Employee Unions, Public Employees Retirement System, Public Transportation, State Budget, State Government, Taxes, Transportation, TriMet | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Graphics expose Low Carbon Fuel Scheme

These two graphics show problems of Low Carbon Fuel Scheme By Taxpayer Association of Oregon OregonWatchdog.com

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in State Taxes, Taxes | 540 Comments

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