Taxpayer Association: More tax-fee increase bills

Taxpayer Association of Oregon
Capitol Update

HB 2616: Local cigarette taxes. This bill was posted for a hearing on June 12th in Senate Finance and Revenue but the chair cancelled a hearing. This legislation would allow local governments to tax cigarettes for local revenue. Bad bill, should die. It will probably raise it’s ugly head before the session is over.

SB 788 Water fee increase 400%: The omnibus water tax bill. The final amendments were passed out of committee this week with all water user fees increased by 40-400% for the next 4 years and then rolled back to present levels in 2013, if you can believe that. The money is to be used to finance the Water Resources Department and replace 50% of their funding lost from budget cuts. Fortunately, there is the roll back (sunset) provision and they saw the wisdom in not accessing the exempt users with an annual fee (tax).

HB 2186: The Green House Gas (GHG) reduction legislation: Providing the Department of Environmental Quality unfettered rule making authority has received three work sessions in Senate Rules Committee. The large coalition, Oregonians for Balanced Climate Policy (OBCP), has continually stressed no rule making authority for DEQ, no California fuel standards, and no executive order by the Governor. Essentially, OBCP will only consider supporting a study bill into 2011. If this bill is not a study bill DEQ can regulate by rule requirements for all vehicles that will increase the cost of travel and commerce, thus imposing a GHG tax.

SB 300: Tobacco penalties. This legislation permits the Department of Revenue to enter and examine premises of person or business licensed to distribute or sell cigarettes or tobacco products, or that department reasonably believes is used to distribute or sell cigarettes or tobacco products. It also allows department to impose on person who prevents entry or examination maximum fine of $1,000 per day. Continuously appropriates moneys to department from suspense account held by State Treasurer for purpose of administering cigarette and tobacco product tax programs. The bill is scheduled for work session in full Ways & Means.