Tax Alert! Kicker sneak attack and new home taxes.

The Legislature has been considering many bills to change the peoples’ kicker and to enact a handful of new home taxes.

Kicker Alert

Yesterday there was a Senate hearing to radically change the people’s kicker tax refund law (SB 819). The politicians know they cannot steal the peoples’ kicker dollars because it is extremely popular and it is locked into the constitution. They can however change the formula and change WHO gets the money, which is where all kinds of trouble is brewing.

One crazy proposal would give kicker tax refund checks to all Oregonians, not just taxpayers who actually paid into it. Call it income redistribution on a grand scale.

The other proposal would allow the state to readjust their forecast closer to the deadline. The forecast becomes less of a forecast and more of a re-adjustment. Over-collected tax dollars in many cases would not be returned to taxpayers because the forecast would be reset early enough to capture such changes. Over-collected tax dollars would still come in, but now the politicians get to spend it because they changed the formula.

New home taxes.

On Thursday is a hearing on creating a home transfer tax. Last week was a hearing on creating a residential impact fee and another bill that would create a construction excise tax on new homes. Many of these new taxes would not require a super majority vote (as most taxes do) because they do not officially enact a tax, they instead give local governments the power to do so if they so choose. That is a given! One union lobbyist testified on both the impact fee and home excise tax bills and mentioned that Maryland has both and why not Oregon? The politicians want to tax new homes so it can fund for”¦you guessed it”¦affordable housing! Maybe people can’t afford to live in their homes because of high taxes and fees?

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Posted by at 07:26 | Posted in Measure 37 | 14 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Steven Plunk

    Impact fees and to a lesser amount home excise taxes are a buy in fee we charge our children to become home owners. It is shameful we do this already with SDC’s but tacking on even more is like eating our young to maintain ourselves. The problem is too much spending by federal, state and local government.

    Affordable housing can be accomplished through opening more land for residential building. When a lot costs $175,000 you can’t expect an affordable house to be built upon it. If a lot costs $40,000 you might see something young people and low income people can afford being built.

    The Dems controlling the Oregon legislature are proving everyday that they do not believe in our traditional way of life but instead yearn for the utopia of socialist income redistribution. These are lefties who will not give up on a debunked idea.

  • Bob Clark

    I quess the democrats want to kill the housing industry. First, let’s make sure lower middle income people can’t get loans (hike the bar on subprime loans). Now, let’s see. Some folks are struggling to make the monthly mortgage payment. I know let’s make it so if they have to unload their homes they’ll be more likely to have to default because of a home transfer fee. Let’s also fight Measure 37 rather than use it to spawn new eco-friendly homes. This way we can keep land away from new home construction. Jason mentions the role of unions in backing these positions. Unions have a good record of sucking their “hosts” dry until they drop dead. There’s Detroit and the U.S automakers in sharp decline. There’s bankrupt airlines. Before this there was big steel. I guess the D in Democrat really does mean Decline.

  • Jason W

    Right now our homeonwers need help, not more taxes. These types of taxes will make a negative impact on the families least able to afford it.

  • Captain_Anon

    I agree that homes prices are outrageous. But i’m not sure a 5000 construction tax on new homes is what pushes them out of reach. Most of the new homes on the market in the portland area are priced to start at 250,000. yes, there are some below that, but not a lot. Most of the homes under 250,000 are older homes already in the cities. Just taking a gander through the sunday paper in the real estate section you can see most advertisments showing homes in the 350 range – which is already way out of reach for most first time home buyers.

    but the other dilema is that school districts are busting at the seems and capital projects are very expensive and difficult to fund. Beaverton is finding this out the hard way. they passed a levy a couple years ago but the cost to construct the schools they planned for has skyrocketed so much they aren’t going build what they planned on after all, and the new homes keep bringing more and more kids into the district.

    Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy solution.

    • Richard

      You are right to a point. Thanks to metro The Idea of owning a home a single upper middleclass worker is out of reach for me. Adding new taxes simple adds fuel to a growing problem of unaffordability*.

      * For me the problem is solved by leaving Oregon. I defiantly think moving to Idaho, Huston, or Arizona. Any place with a strong republican presence.

    • Steve Plunk


      Let me address the school construction issue first since I am involved in a similar situation here in Medford. School districts (as well as most public angencies) have a pattern of promising more than bond amounts will provide and saying things are worse than they are. This allows them to entice more voters to support the bond. Here we were promised a new North Medford high school before the vote yet within five months of passage we are now told it can’t be done and doesn’t need to be done anyway. The bond passed by less then 200 votes so the promises made to North Medford parents probably bought enough votes to pass it.

      The whole process is fundamentally flawed. Rather than ask for a fixed amount and then get the architects involved a competition should be held and winning designs put to the voters as a complete package with firm bids. That’s the only way we will know what we are voting for is really what we are voting for.

      Beaverton’s problem can be traced back to a fromer administrator and facilities manager who have since bailed out. In fact the former facilities manager was convicted of acrime for lying on his resume in Texas where he followed Yvonne Katz the former administrator. What’s really funny is that this Mike Maloney fellow was later hired by the Medford school district to assess the needs for school construction to be put in the bond measure. The Medford school board is now trying to say he had nothing to do with the missed cost estimates while providing no evidence as to who actually made the mistake. They are all in over their heads.

      In my first post you will see that high home prices are more to do with a limited supply of land as well as the aditional government fees. Look at it this way, if the lot cost is high and the demand for homes is high why build a reasonably priced home? The added fees are marked up and added to the price the buyer will eventually pay. It all needs to change and government should get out of this segment of the economy all together.

      Sure there are no “easy” solutions, even though that’s what everybody wants. The solution is to ask voters to support government through current taxes rather than tax those who have no say. If the public will not support those higher taxes then that’s the way it is. After all, is the government here to serve the public or is the public here to serve government?

    • Tim Lyman

      “Most of the new homes on the market in the portland area are priced to start at 250,000”

      Once again the depth of your ignorance is astounds me.

      The median price of a new single family home in Portland is about $650,000. The median price of a new single family home in the Metro area is about $400,000.

      From today’s MLS:

      The average price of the 48 new single family homes currently on the market in Portland is $907,000. The lowest priced home is $389,000 and only 8 of the homes are under $500,000.

      The average price of the 869 new single family homes currently on the market in the Metro area is $593,000. Only ten of these are under $250,000, fewer than 100 are under $300,000 and half are over $475,000.

      Wanna talk rowhouses/townhomes?

      211 new attached houses on the market in the metro area. Lowest price $219,000. 80 under $250,000; more than half over $300,000. Average price $394,000.

      96 new attached houses on the market in Portland. Lowest price $219,000. Average price $535,000. Only fifteen under $329,000, only twenty under $430,000.

      • Captain_Anon


        what’s funny about your post is that it is exactly what i was saying. Did you read my message? did you think about it? or did you just see my name, jump to predisposed conclusions, and write a response? You demonstrated exactly what i was saying. there are few new homes on the market under 250k. many of the subdivisions around beaverton, happy valley, and gresham don’t even have homes under 300k. there are some, albeit few, that are 225K to 250K. So, while they start at roughly 250K, there aren’t many. It’s like the condos in the pearl district – they will advertise “Condos starting at 189,900!” but will have 1, maybe 2, out of 125 condos that are 500 square feet and priced for that. then, they jump to the normal 250K to 850K.

  • I am for The Demorats keeping the kicker.

    Hey great idea, I call it the ”I wanted to teach a lesson by voting out the Republicans” tax. To all you stupid republican hicks who sat out the last election this tax is for you. It time you paid the piper. I do not care how bad Republicans are, you replace them in the primary and never never let any liberal democrats close to political power or this is what you get.

  • Bob Clark

    Portland has a surplus of school buildings. Portland shouldn’t be given this tax ability. I know of people in Portland who are struggling with their mortgage payments, having taken adjustable rate mortgages. Portland authorities will use this tax to grow government mostly. They’ve help make Portland expensive to live in and now they want to throw dollars to whoever is their favorite people of the moment. In the meantime the middle man, goverment grows bigger and wealthier.

  • Sassy

    OK y’all.

    Clearly, we the people of Oregon are paying for the obvious disenchantment, or disappointment, or whatever the voters felt toward Republicans in general, in the last election.

    However, lets not cut and run. How about reaching out and getting going again? Let’s not give up … after all, there is hope as long as we are all still breathing.

    We can rest when we’re dead.

  • Jerry

    Capt. The reason Beaverton is not going to build as much as they had planned is that they are not able to accurately do anything. How can costs skyrocket beyond what they planned unless they can’t plan. Nothing dramatic has happened since the levy passed. There is no great increase in inflation or prices for materials – certainly nothing that could not have been forseen. This is a prime example of why public schools waste so much money – they are not run by people who know much about business. Do you think WalMart builds a smaller store because the “did not plan on the costs”? Of course not, because they are not ignorant and they know how to plan ahead.
    Maybe you should send a check to Beaverton to help them out of their crisis? What say you?
    The point of this discussion, by the way, is not whether 5K will stop a house from being sold. It is that the 5K in taxes are not needed whatsoever – and if they are levied it will never be enough and will be mispent, as usual.
    I guess you did not pick up on that….

  • Dan

    The answer appears to lie with citizens taking back control of local government. The city of Damascus has an initiative circulating that prohibits new taxes, fees or charges or increases without a vote of the people. That will certainly slow this kind of excessive government growth until politicians and union officials outnumber citizens.

  • I wonder if the state will now endeavor to offer home loans and personal loans now since their planning has increased home prices, their zeal to condemn the subprime market has me wondering if they’ll “do something” about that (thus putting homeownership out of reach), and their “help” of the poor to borrow money has been obliterated by constraints on the pay day loan places.

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