Taxpayer Association: Tax hikes are being put in motion

Taxpayer Association of OregonLegislative Watch
By Jim Welsh

If we didn’t know before today we now know what we will be faced with, for the next six or more weeks, after today’s revenue forecast and the comments yesterday from the Speaker of the House, Rep. Hunt. “The budget,” Hunt said, “will be balanced by a combination of budget cuts in excess of $1 billion, increased taxes paid by corporations and Oregon households making over $250,000 a year, federal stimulus dollars and the state’s savings accounts.”

Not that most everyone in Salem didn’t realize the comments from the Speaker wouldn’t become proposals before the House Revenue Committee. Higher taxes for corporations and high income earners have been sponsored by various legislators and proposed by numerous groups and organizations. In fact there are over 130 such proposals and the “carbon reduction,” water, and health insurance taxes are not included in this list. Furthermore, all the new fee increases proposed by agencies and special interest groups are not on the revenue increase list.

Some of the tax increase bills have only been given one hearing, and there are some of those bills that the legislative leadership are ready to pass and they will be given a hearing and passed quickly from committee to the House floor for a vote. There probably won’t be but a handful of revenue bills scheduled in Revenue Committee as to reduce attention and give the legislative leadership opportunities to spin in a favorable manner.

A number of legislators in Salem don’t understand that taxing corporations and high income earners can and will discourage economic development and retail expenditures from the people and businesses that can most afford it. Low level tax impositions on these two entities may not have much effect, but will the temptation provide an irresistible opportunity that the legislative majority will take advantage of by taxing excessively?