By Taxpayers Association of Oregon
The State of Oregon woke up to find that it had a surplus of $979 million in extra tax revenue flood into state coffers beyond what was forecasted. This is not part of the previous surplus budget cycle that generated the current Kicker refund.
This near-billion dollar surplus comes at a time when Oregon was ranked the fourth biggest spending state government in America per-capita. Oregon state spending is close to 30% bigger than the average state in America as measured by per-person spending.
This also comes at a time when Gov. Kate Brown and the politicians stuffed a billion dollars of emergency Covid funds into a slush fund account for later use.
Gov. Brown and lawmakers must return these funds to taxpayers either directly if they are part of the next kicker budget cycle. If this is part of the growing revenue Oregon has witnessed year after year, then lawmakers should repeal the big tax increases they passed in the middle of our pandemic which would include repealing the:
• 17% Small Business Tax (SB 139 in 2021)
• Cell-phone tax (SB 1603 in 2020)
• Suspending the 2022 Oregon gas tax increase (part of 2017 bill that phased in gas tax increases over 10 years).
These are taxes that every Oregonian pays and these are taxes raised by politicians during the our time of extreme hardship as we suffered during the pandemic.
One of the reasons why Oregon has had a string of record-breaking revenue year after year is that politicians have been raising taxes non-stop for years. This budget surplus is not an accident — it is built on the back of taxpayers who paid every penny of it.
Taxpayers sacrificed more because the politicians demanded it, well now it is time to give some of it back in the form of long term tax relief.