Senator Atkinson: Plan to stop taxing the unemployed

Atkinson will re-introduce legislation to end taxation of the unemployed
By State Senator Jason Atkinon,

Salem — Senator Jason Atkinson (R-Central Point) will again introduce legislation in the 2010 legislative special session to eliminate the taxation of unemployment benefits. The bill is similar to a bill Atkinson introduced in 2009, which would give unemployed Oregonians their first $2,400 of unemployment benefits tax free. “Taxing someone who doesn’t have a job is like kicking them when they’re down,” said Atkinson. “Oregon continues to have one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation. Those looking for work don’t deserve to have their unemployment benefits taxed. The least government can do is wait until they can find a job.”

The legislation would follow the federal government’s lead and end taxation of an individual’s first $2,400 in unemployment compensation. Congress ended the taxation of initial unemployment benefits as part of the economic stimulus package past in February.

“Unemployed Oregonians need to know that someone is on their side,” said Aktinson. “If we really want to create jobs and get Oregonians back to work, we need to stop taxing their unemployment benefits.”

Currently, Oregon taxes the first $2,400 of unemployment compensation on a sliding scale, depending on an individual’s taxable income. Most Oregonians collecting unemployment compensation are taxed at the top rate of 9%.

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