Death tax, prison voting, kindergarten climate law, fire map …

By Taxpayers Association of Oregon

Here are bills that have having hearings this week in the Oregon State Capitol:

Death tax relief:  HB 2624 This bill would exempt an additional $1 million by allowing it to be deducted from the gross estate when determining taxable estate, effectively exempting a total of $2 million. The additional $1 million exempted by this bill would be adjusted for inflation annually.  Since Oregon is a top death tax state, it would be most helpful for this bill to pass.

Climate change class mandates for kindergarten and more: Senate Committee On Education, Hearing on Thursday March 9th, hearing on SB 854: “Requires each school district board to develop written plan establishing climate change instructional program for kindergarten through grade 12 no later than June 1, 2026. Establishes requirements for instructional program. Requires school district board to review and update plan every seven years. …Requires Superintendent of Public Instruction to withhold from noncompliant school districts amounts otherwise to be distributed as grants from Student Investment Account.”   Since our schools have one of the nation’s worst graduation rates and one of the nation’s worst declines in test scores during the pandemic, the politicians’ response is more bureaucracy for teachers and schools.

Tax credit for affordable homes: SB 944:“Allows credit against net income taxes for portion of eligible costs of newly constructed single-family dwelling that sells for price affordable to household with annual income at or below 120 percent of area median income.”   Since Oregon rules and red tape have made building a home unaffordable, it is now requiring tax credits to undo it.    This bill helps address the pain in time of crisis, but some day lawmakers need to address the root cause.


Allow felons to vote from prison:  Senate Bill 579 is up for a work Session vote Thursday Senate Committee Judiciary. Senate Bill 579 allows persons convicted of a felony to vote in elections while incarcerated and specifies residency determinations for voter registration.  This would make both running elections and running prisons more expensive.  Inmates should have thought about their loss of voting rights before they tried to set fire to a government building or attempted murder of a police officer.


Bans insurance companies from noticing State’s deadly fire map:  SB 82, Prohibits insurance company from using statewide map of wildfire risk as basis for canceling policy or increasing premium.   Oregon created a fire map of risk zones and it turns out that due to our failed forest policy, much of Oregon is a fire hazard.  Now politicians want insurance companies to ignore the map when determining insurance.


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