Politicians Steal Your Christmas Present

Press release from Senate Republican Office 5-24-07:

Democrats Steal Your Christmas Present

Senate Republicans Stand Behind Stocking Stuffers

Salem, OR — After three years, the gift card to Best Buy your Grandma gave you for Christmas will no longer belong to you, but to the government. Proving that no wallet is safe while the Legislature is in session, Democrats voted Thursday to allow the state to confiscate the balance on gift cards they think you have been carrying around for too long.

“This is nothing short of outright theft,” said Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day). “If you buy or received a gift card, the value belongs to you, not the government.”

Senate Bill 640 allows state government to seize the unused value of a gift card after 3 years from the date of purchase. While the confiscated value of a gift card can be redeemed from the State Department of Lands, it requires filing a complex series of paperwork on behalf of the company or individual. It is anticipated that this measure will take $25 to $35 million from Oregon companies and individuals. The bill passed 16 to 13.

“Why don’t they just come into our living rooms and steal the change out from under the cushions too?” Ferrioli said. “Where does it end?”

Senate Bill 640 is but one in a long list of proposals aimed at Oregonian’s wallets this year. Over 100 bills to increase revenue have been introduced to date. With Democrats as the ruling party in Salem for the first time in over a decade, Governor Kulongoski and Democrat leadership have made tax increases among their top priorities this session.