By Taxpayers Association of Oregon
The time for traditional hearings on Oregon bills is coming to a close in the State Legislature. Bills must have a hearing by the approaching April deadlines or die in committee.
Where was the public hearing on the kicker you say? There was none.
They plan to have hearings on this bill later in Session in the final few weeks when bills are rushed through the process and politicians are allowed to limit public notice and limit public involvement. I cannot emphasize this enough!!! Most of the worst bills and tax increases in the Legislature happen in the final weeks of Session when they can rush bills through. As former Democrat lawmaker, Marty Wilde, said last year, most key decision in the Legislature happen behind closed doors with just a few people (and then rushed out the door so the public doesn’t know what is happening). Don’t fall for this scam!
HJR 23 would refer to the people a ballot measure a scheme to take a big share of the people’s kicker. They pledge to use the funds to pay for drought water projects. Already lawmakers released their budget goals for this year and it calls for growing the 2-year Oregon budget at a whopping 25%! Gov. Kotek’s own budget plan calls for 26%. Both plans would make Oregon among the fastest growing state governments in the nation — nearly double the national average. Growing government by 26% is not enough, which is why they feel compelled to grab the kicker which is over-collected tax revenue and surplus revenue overpaid by taxpayers. By taking the people’s kicker they can grow their budget possibly by 27%, 28% or 30% more. Once the politicians do this, the next budget cycle politicians will then build upon the 20% growth as the new normal — meaning they must raise taxes to sustain that level of spending which among the fastest and highest in the nation.
HJR 23 is in the House Agriculture Committee and set for a April 4th vote. Because it is a revenue measure it must eventually find itself in the Revenue Committee. April 4th is a planned time for the Ag Committee to send it to the Revenue Committee. If there is no vote on April 4th the bill dies. By politicians sending it the Revenue Committee, it (1) keeps the bill alive (2) allows the bill to be heard later in Session when public hearings are limited (3) close any public comment on the bill on April 4th as it is supposed to be just a procedural bill move from one committee to another.
If lawmakers are going to debate stealing our kicker we want a full robust public hearing with advanced noticed and not rushed hearings which happen later in session.
This is why we are asking people to call members of the House Ag committee to say no to the Kicker Theft Bill HJR 13.
Lawmakers should vote no or let the bill die like all other bills that will be missing the bill deadline.
Please call and email members of House Committee on Agriculture
Tell them to Vote No on HJR 23 and not to steal any part of the Kicker
• Always be respectful, courteous and kind when you call
• Go to Oregonwatchdog.com/kicker for updates
Representative Ken Helm (chair)
Representative Annessa Hartman
Representative Mark Owens
Representative Court Boice
Representative Mark Gamba
Representative Bobby Levy
Representative Pam Marsh
Representative Susan McLain
Representative Anna Scharf
One part of HJR 23 is that politicians are toying with an idea to steal part of the kicker — like higher income, so that they do not upset too many of their voters. This is a ruse. We remember, some 12 years ago when politicians took the business kicker refund (which was over-collected business taxes and surplus revenue). Now they are back for more as they aim to go after higher income taxpayers and work themselves down until there is no kicker at all.
Because politicians love to introduce surprise amendments on almost the day of a hearing, there is no way to actually know what final product is going to be sprung on taxpayers.
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