House Vote Scorecard: Gas tax and payroll tax!!!

Taxpayer Association of Oregon,
Tax Update

In 2 hours the Oregon House voted for a massive gas-tax/car fee increase HB 2001, and then a transit payroll tax increase SB 34 (details below). Here is the gas tax vote;

YES=38, — Bailey (D), Barker (D), Barnhart (D),Barton (D),Bentz (R),Berger (R),Beyer (D),Boone (D), Bruun (R), Buckley (D),Cowan(D),Dembrow (D),Edwards- David (D),Edwards-Chris (D), Equivel (R), Galizo (D), Garrett (D), Gelser (D), Gilman (R), Greenlick (D), Holvey (D), Hunt (D), Jenson (R), Kahl (D), Komp (D), Kotek (D), Mathews (D), Nathanson (D), Read (D), Riley (D), Roblan (D), Schaufler (D), Shields (D), Smith Greg (R), Stiegler (D), Tomei (D), VanOrman (D),Witt (D)

Nays =22,–Cameron (R), Cannon (D), Clem (D), Freeman (R), Garrard (R), Gilliam (R), Hanna (R), Harker (D), Huffman (R), Kennemer (R), Krieger (R), Maurer (R), Nolan (D), Olson (R), Richardson (R), Smith J.(D), Sprenger (R), Thatcher (R), Thompson (R), Weidner (R), Whisnant (R), Wingard (R).

HB 2001: Gas Tax: A 6-cent gas tax increase, vehicle registration fee from $32 to $54, vehicle title fee from $55 to $77,surcharge on a pair of license plates from $5 to $20,higher weight mile taxes for trucks, vanity plates increase cost. But wait there is more. State Representative Dennis Richardson exposed what he calls an “economic catastrophe” in the bill which forces the Metro area to reduce greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by 2035 and to empower all government bodies to work together to force it to happen. By the speeches, the strange mix of Democrats voting no was because the bill would increase traffic use and be environmentally unfriendly. Rep. Cannon even mocked car users by saying building new roads would save only a few minutes of people’s commute. One of the best speeches in opposition came from Rep. Bill Kennemer who said he is the only person in the chamber who remembers the votes for the earlier gas taxes (1989, 1991) and how their promises never came true and this shoddy bill is the same batch of broken promises. Congratulations to House Republican leader Bruce Hanna for keeping most of his caucus together against this huge gas tax hike and all of his caucus together (minus Jenson) against the payroll tax that is coming at such a terrible time for taxpayers.

SB 34, Transit Payroll Tax. As if a $300 million gas tax was not enough, the House voted for a payroll increase!!!!

YES= 32,Bailey (D),Barker (D), Barnhart (D),Beyer (D),Boone (D),Buckley (D),Cannon (D), Clem (D), Cowan (D),Dembrow (D), Edwards-David (D),Edwards-Chris (D), Galizo (D), Garrett (D), Gelser (D), Greenlick (D), Holvey (D), Hunt (D), Jenson (R), Kahl (D), Kotek (D), Mathews (D), Nathanson (D), Nolan (D), Read (D), Riley (D), Roblan (D), Schaufler (D), Shields (D), Smith- J (D), Tomei (D), Witt (D).

Nays, 28–Barton(D), Bentz(R), Berger(R), Bruun(R), Cameron(R), Esquivel(R), Freeman(R), Garrard(R), Gilliam(R), Gilman(R), Hanna(R), Huffman(R), Jenson(R), Kennemer(R), Komp(D), Krieger(R), Maurer(R), Olson(R), Richardson(R), Smith G.(R), Sprenger (R), Stiegler(D), Thatcher(R), Thompson (R), VanOrman(D), Weidner(R), Whisnant(R), Wingard (R).

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Posted by at 07:00 | Posted in Measure 37 | 24 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • anonymous

    Ah, there’s good ‘ol Scotty Bruun and Vicky Berger, old man Jenson, three RINO’s voting to raise our taxes, Again! There is little difference between a RINO and a “D”.

  • Sagano

    So much for family wages when you strip away the wages of a family through a payroll tax and you puncture their family budget with gas tax increases and you increase the cost of goods because delivery of food, clothing and other products goes up. These politicians have completely forgotten about the poor and middle class.

  • Vernon

    While observing the floor debate I can say that there is much more going on in their minds than the citizenry.

  • UB

    I wonder about the Dems who voted nay on HB 2001. Did they really mean it – or, just do it for specious political hay because they knew passage was a foregone conclusion? Same with SB 34.

    As for the RINO’s and Dem-wits that said yes to the taxing follies – shame on all for shticking it to citizenry again beyond reason, you tax and spend DEMmkopf PACtitioners. Yech!

    • Harry

      I wonder about the Dems who voted nay on HB 2001. Did they really mean it – or, just do it for specious political hay because they knew passage was a foregone conclusion? Same with SB 34.


      I wonder the same thing, but wonder why I wonder.

      Politicians do that all the time, on both sides. I should not wonder about reality.

      • anonymous

        The reason these few D’s voted Nay is c’ause their either new, or in Komp’s case, are feeling somewhat unsafe for relection considering their districts.

        Sad isn’t it that these politicians think it is necessary to constantly try to BS their constituency. Almost Every single one of ’em are full of crap and don’t deserve an ounce of respect.

  • retired3048

    i look at this vote and wonder who voted for these people ,i think we need to start recalling the hole d** bunch and get someone that will do what the people want.first to go should be tax-n-gougeme……

  • anonymous

    6 cents a gallon is a “massive” tax increase? Gasonline was selling for $5 a gallon last year and today it is half that. 6 cents is going to break us?

    Get a life.

    • Steve Plunk

      That 6 cent increase will mean a 25% increase for truck weight mile taxes. That’s massive. The increase in registration and title fees will also be massive for Oregon truckers. The overall package will raise an extra $300 million a year. That’s massive.

      Rep. Kennemer got it right when pointing out the string of broken promises by ODOT and their supporters. We will get little in return for these higher taxes and fees. Hell, ODOT can’t even finish the projects littering the state now.

      This is more than just a matter of 6 cents. It’s 6 cents the state seems to think they deserve despite years of evidence to contrary. I would rethink the ‘get a life’ comment.

    • anonymous

      .06 Cents here, $3 a month there, and I say to you anon 11:02 you can pay all these little CS increases but as for me I’ve got a life and wanna keep it without taxing us all to death.

      • anonymous again

        In the context of the ups and downs of the price of gasoline, I’m sorry folks, but 6 cents a gallon is chump change, not massive. If they had quietly raised it 6 cents without telling anyone, would you have even noticed the next time you went for a fill up? $2.56 in stead of $2.50? Tell the truth now.

        As for whether they spend it well and wisely, that is a different issue. If we truly think ODOT is that bad, then we should deal with that problem directly. Depriving funds won’t get any potholes filled or roads widened.

        • anonymous

          I’m all out of “chump change”, anon again. What’s “chump change” to you is an attitude that is disgusting. You sound like a politician, a stinking politician.

        • Steve Plunk


          I have to respectfully repeat that in my case chump change is likely to approach $30,000 a year, history has shown us the only way to instill discipline in a bureaucracy is through it’s budget, and giving ODOT the funds will not get potholes filled or roads widened anyway.

          I have spoken with state legislators who were subject to telephone threats when investigating ODOT. I have seen the retirement path of ODOT officials to consulting firms that contract with ODOT. I have seen the false testimony that led to the passage of OTIA. This is a corrupt agency that is only concerned with it’s own existence.

          Isn’t funny an agency with thousands of engineers contracts out its engineering work? The department is a tragedy of government. There are no “crumbling” roads. There are neglected roads that should be repaired with the money already available. The time to deal with ODOT’s fraud upon Oregon taxpayers is now when they are begging for money.

  • Matt Evans

    I suppose one can argue over word choice and whether a 25 percent increase in a tax qualifies as “massive.” How about the 29 percent increase in title fees? The 37 percent increase in registration fees? The 300 – 400 percent increase in license plate fees? Any of these reach the definition of massive? How about the total of $300 million a year, which we all know will never deliver the promised projects – except for bike lanes, footpaths and mass transit.

    If you’d like to let your Rep. and Senator know you oppose this legislation, please visit and click on Action Alerts in the left-hand column.

    • anonymous again

      What would it cost you if gas goes up 10 cents next week, or 20 cents the week after simply to to OPEC? ANd it will, because once the recession eases gas is gonna go right back up to where it was last year. 6 cents a gallon is 2% of the current price of around $2.50 a gallon. I’m just saying lets not make a mountain out of a molehill.

      I’ve worked with ODOT and agree its not a well oiled machine. But giving it less money does nothing at all to increase its efficiency. And I can testify that my local roads are way more potholed than they were 2 or 3 years ago, and these are County, not state roads. The longer we put off fixing them the more expensive it is going to get, and if you are in the trucking business you ought to be thinking about that.

      Matt, “percent” increases mean squat. If they only increase a tax or fee once every 10 or 20 years, the percent is bound to be higher than if it had been indexed all along. The state gas tax has not gone up since 1994 or thereabouts. How many actual dollars is this bill going to cost you?

      Plus you can choose to drive less or buy a more efficient car.

      • Steve Plunk

        I am in the trucking business and for my extra $25,000 to $30,000 a year in taxes I will not see much benefit. What will happen is ODOT employees will continue to get generous wage and benefits packages that don’t do a thing for common Oregonians. This is money down a rat hole.

  • Reper

    People can micromanage this all they want. This tax hurts. Yell beyond people’s pain.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    Ever wonder why the same people who think the word “massive” is needless hyperbole get all uppity when you question their use of phrases such as “Bush shredding the constitution” or “Bush lied people died”.

    Give me a break, a lot of these taxes are massive and any tax is massive in this economic environment. All anyone is asking government to do is just limit its growth to something reasonable. No one is talking about cuts in the overall budget, although most of us are cutting our own. We would never ask government to endure the privations we all endure, but can’t they put up with just moderate growth and not excessive growth?

    Anyway, any increase is massive when used for this proposed tax’s purpose. Namely road repair. My question would be, why do we all have to pay more? Why cant ODOT simply do with less? We could really reduce the cost of road repair by simply eliminating Oregon’s Davis Bacon. Why pay extortion rates for road work when there are plenty of out of work construction guys with a back hoe and a dump truck willing to do it for a lot less?

    Oh, and if you think that will mean shoddy work, remember, no liberal ever hires only union workers to build their house. Good enough to live in, good enough to drive on!

  • My Amazing Weight Loss Story

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  • passerby

    Great timing politicians! Great timing.

  • Joe

    Driving is a privilege, not a right. People must pay.
    These are fair increases in Oregon’s time of need. The only thing wrong with them is that they hit the poor the hardest.
    Otherwise, we need the money.
    Everyone knows that.

  • John in Oregon

    I see these kinds of comments a lot. Its only 6 cents! Within that narrow context it is only a 14% increase in the gas tax. However that context is ONLY the gas tax. Is that the proper context?

    We also have the others on the list;
    The vehicle title is only going up 40%
    The vehicle registration fee is only going up 68.75%
    The license plate surcharge is only going up 300%
    Portland Water rates are only going up 17%
    The income tax is only going up 22% (from 9% to 11%)
    Multnomah Co. is only raising the car rental tax…..
    That list just keeps going on and on and on…

    So lets consider in a different context. Lets say that for the 10 employees at John’s Plumbing Store that list of onlys adds up to only 5% more cost for the store. Well folks that’s ONLY half an employee!

    Recently I saw a piece by Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee about the mess in California. Two lines stood out as applicable to this issue in Oregon.

    Walters stated “The new Census Bureau report tags total state spending last year at $233.6 billion… The total includes not only the state’s general fund spending, roughly $100 billion, but proceeds of special fund revenues, such as gasoline taxes and borrowed money… Not surprisingly, California’s total spending last year was $33 billion more than its total revenues, with bond proceeds accounting for most of the difference.”

    A little simple math tells us California spent $100 billion general fund dollars collected from sales and income taxes and 133 billion from the special fund including 33 billion in borrowed money. After deducting the borrowed money that’s $100 billion from the special fund of the gas tax, licenses, fees, charges, and other sources. The special fund is from things on the only list above.

    In other words those “only” fees and those “only” taxes account or ONLY about half of what California spent last year. I bet the breakdown isnt markedly different in Oregon.

    In another tax hike Democrats are proposing raising the income tax by 22% on the rich from 9 to 11 percent.

    In an article on the tax hike the Oregonian reported “Republicans said the higher tax rates would hit small-business owners hard and prompt an exodus to Clark County, where there is no income tax. Democrats said those concerns are overblown. We’re talking about a relatively small number of taxpayers who make a very large amount of money,” said Rep. Phil Barnhart, chairman of the House Revenue Committee.”

    So there you have it folks, the concerns about the tax hike are overblown. But are they really? Is there a way we can test that? Well yes there is.

    Last year Maryland raised the income tax rate on the rich to as much as 9.45% in Baltimore and Bethesda. At the time Democrat Governor Martin O’Malley, a dedicated class warrior, declared that these richest 0.3% of filers were “willing and able to pay their fair share.” The Baltimore Sun predicted the rich would “grin and bear it.”

    So there you have it folks. Concerns are overblown, the rich are willing to pay and will just grin and bear it. Case closed.

    Oh wait folks. There is more to the story.

    The Wall Street Journal reports “One year later, nobody’s grinning. One-third of the millionaires have _disappeared from Maryland tax rolls._ In 2008 roughly 3,000 million-dollar income tax returns were filed by the end of April. This year there were 2,000, which the state comptroller’s office concedes is a “substantial decline.” On those missing returns, _the government collects 6.25% of nothing. Instead of the state coffers gaining the extra $106 million the politicians predicted, millionaires paid $100 million *less* in taxes than they did last year _ — even at higher rates.”

    So I ask are the concerns overblown?

    This morning I heard a news item. The state of Oregon is going to tax health insurance, doctors and hospitals to expand coverage to 80,000 uninsured children of families earning less than $44,100 a year.

    Now setting aside the twisted political logic of taxing health insurance and hospitals to provide health insurance and medical serves, I have this one tinny question.

    One of the first things Obama and the Democrats did was to pass expanded State CHIP insurance for children. S-CHIP now insures kids under 30 years of age from families earning $80,000 to $100,000.

    So folks riddle me this. Why exactly is Oregon creating a new tax to create a duplicate program to cover the same kids the Feds are already insuring under S-CHIP??? This makes no damn sense.

  • Terry Parker

    And the freeloading pedal pushing bicyclists are still not directly taxed to pay their own way for the costly specialized bicycle infrastructure that rant for and use. I don’t know which is worse,; deadbeat bicyclists that only provide lip service or the drivel from the politicians (many of whom have a conflict of interest) that support the deadbeat bicyclist lifestyle.

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