Capitol Update: Kicker theft. Property tax cut. Gun bill. Hotel tax…

By Taxpayers Association of Oregon

Key bills up for a hearing in the next two weeks.

• Kicker theft bill. HJR 23 (Hearing 4/4/23)  Proposes amendment to Oregon Constitution to modify return of surplus revenue to personal income taxpayers by directing percentage of surplus revenue to reserve fund established to combat drought. Maintains return of surplus to taxpayers with lower incomes and phases out amount re-turned to taxpayers with higher incomes.

• Hotel tax increase: HB 3159. (Hearing 4/4/23)

• Flavor product ban. HB 3090 (Hearing 3/21/23) Bans sale of flavored tobacco and vaping products.

• Stop funding of travel for out-of-state government employees. SB 853 (Hearing 4/4/23)

• Raise age to 21 for rifle purchase: SB 527 (hearing 3/30/23)Allows gun dealer or person transferring firearms, firearm accessories, ammunition or ammunition components for purchase at gun show, or business engaged in repairing or servicing firearms to establish minimum age of 21 years for such purchases, repairs or services.

• Reduce prison time: SB 320 (hearing 4/3/23) Provides that person sentenced to mandatory minimum sentence under Ballot Measure 11 (1994), for crime other than murder, who has not been previously sentenced under measure is eligible for reduction in sentence for appropriate institutional behavior and participation in certain programming unless otherwise ordered by court for substantial and compelling reasons. Creates procedure by which sentencing court may enter supplemental judgment authorizing persons currently serving sentences under Ballot Measure 11 (1994) who were not previously sentenced under measure to be eligible for reduction in sentence for appropriate institutional behavior and participation in certain programming.

• Help seniors with property taxes. SB 655: Public Hearing March 21, Freezes assessed value of homestead at the amount from the preceding year for purposes of property taxation under the homestead property tax deferral program, also known as the Senior and Disabled Property Tax Deferral Program. Freeze specifically applies to individuals at least 68 years of age or with disability that would be eligible if not for a reverse mortgage on the homestead. Sets a sunset date for the freeze and provides a grandfather clause.

• Universal healthcare SB 704. (Hearing 3/22/22) Establishes Universal Health Plan Governance Board and directs board to create comprehensive plan for implementing Universal Health Plan beginning in 2027.

• Targeted property tax freeze for new homes. SB 847 (hearing 3/27/23) Freezes assessed value for five years for property with newly constructed accessory dwelling unit or middle housing, used as occupant’s primary residence. Establishes timelines and requirements to file claim; allows for appeal of denial. Terminates benefit in event eligible property is no longer occupied as primary residence. Allows frozen assessed value to transfer to new owner within five-year period, provided property remains new owner’s primary residence and timely claims are filed. Provides exemption for unoccupancy due to health or active military service.

• Repeals prohibition on local laws on rent control. HB 3503. (Hearing 3/30/23)

• Global warming fund. SB 530 (Hearing 3/27/23) Establishes state policy regarding natural climate solutions. Establishes Natural and Working Lands Fund and provides for transfer of moneys from fund to certain state agencies. Prescribes uses of moneys from fund and requires Oregon Global Warming Commission to report to legislature on uses of moneys from fund. Directs State Department of Energy and commission to prepare baseline, activity-based metrics and community impact metrics for net carbon sequestration and storage in natural and working lands and establish carbon sequestration and storage goals.

• Stops government employee from doing politics on work time.  SB 168-1 (Hearing 3/21/23) Explicitly prohibits public employees from promoting or opposing appointment, nomination or election of a person to public office, and from promoting or opposing filing of initiative, referendum, or recall petition, while on job during working hours or while otherwise working in official capacity.

• Ranked choice voting: HB 2004, HB 3509 (Hearing 3/21/23) HB 2004 Establishes ranked choice voting as voting method for selecting winner of nomination for and election to offices of President of United States. HB 3509 Establishes ranked choice voting as voting method for selecting winner of nomination for and election to nonpartisan state offices and county and city

• Right to repair bill. SB 542. (Work Session 3/28) Requires original equipment manufacturer (Manufacturer) to make available to an owner or independent repair provider at fair and reasonable terms any of the following that Manufacturer makes available to authorized repair provider: any necessary documentation, tool, part, or other device or implement for purpose of diagnosing, maintaining, repairing, or updating consumer electronic equipment sold in Oregon; or any documentation, tool, or part necessary to disable and reset electronic security lock or function that is or must be disabled or reset while diagnosing, maintaining, or repairing the consumer electronic equipment.

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