By Taxpayer Association of Oregon
On Monday March 11th, the House Human Services & Housing Committee held rushed hearings on HB 3349 which is a $150 million tax on Oregon property owners. Below is our testimony:
No on HB 3349 on $150 million property tax:
It is unconstitutional, creates poverty & increases rent
1. Illegal property taxes increase
HB 3349 raises $150 million in new property taxes while bypassing the 60% vote rule for all taxes. This is unconstitutional and against the will of voters.
2. Hitting people at a very vulnerable financial weak point
HB 3349 raises taxes by eliminating and reducing the home mortgage interest deduction for certain higher income earners for both their home and/or second homes. People have made the biggest financial decision of their lives based around the historic home mortgage interest deduction. HB 3349 will soak homeowners with higher taxes. Homeowners have built their jobs, income streams and their retirement plans based on how it aligns with this longstanding promise of this deduction.
3. Raising taxes on people who are already over-taxed.
Oregon homeowners already pay higher property taxes than the average state. They also pay higher state taxes overall (gas, income, business…) than the average state. Raising taxes on people who already paying more creates more poverty and less economic mobility.
4. Makes the homeless and housing crisis worse.
Oregon’s affordability housing crisis is a result of (1) Oregon’s unique urban growth boundary as a regulatory chokehold that artificially inflates home prices (2) Higher than average property taxes and (3) high home development charges and housing regulations not found in other states. Increasing property taxes on an already over-inflated system will make the housing crisis worse — not better.
5. Increases rent.
Raising taxes by thousands of dollars on homeowners who rent within their existing home or their second home is guaranteed to increase rents.
6. The first step to raising taxes on all homeowners.
HB 3349 is the first step to destroying the home mortgage interest entirely and on all income levels, which has been proposed before. Raising taxes on over-taxed people is never a lasting solution to anything but rather perpetuating and feeding the problem of out-of-control spending and fiscal mismanagement which makes the problems worse and more difficult to solve.
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— Further description. HB 3349 reduces and/or eliminates the home mortgage interest deduction for higher income Oregonians starting at $200,000 family levels. More information and impact data on this bill is being collected as we speak and we will aim to share the latest with you.