Republicans said no to tax increases

Rep. Dennis Richardson

Rep. Dennis Richardson

In 2010 Oregon voters were told the tax increases contained in Measures 66 and 67 were needed to ensure Oregon’s businesses and high income earners paid their “fair share” for state services and expenses.

Now it is 2013. The Measure 66 and 67 promises that Oregon businesses and wealthy taxpayers finally would be paying their “fair share” are long forgotten.

The expected revenue for 2013-15 will increase $1.7 billion, yet, once again, the cry from Democratic legislators is that a 10 percent  increase is not enough, more revenue is needed, and it should be extracted from Oregon businesses and high-income taxpayers. Once again, the mantra is Oregon businesses and “the rich” must be forced to “pay their fair share.”

To raise $275 million in additional taxes over the next two years, the Democrats tried to pass House Bill 2456. It would phase-out itemized deductions on home mortgage interest, medical expenses, etc. (not charitable donations) on incomes above $125,000 for single filers ($250,000 for joint). Those taxpayers would lose their personal deductions, lose their personal exemption, and Oregon businesses would have higher top-end income and corporate minimum tax rates.

This week we had a  showdown. To get the votes needed for a three-fifths majority tax vote, a compromise was needed on Republican PERS reform recommendations.  Without substantial PERS reforms, the House Republicans said NO to the Democrat’s tax increases. It looks like the Democratic leaders will need to balance the state budget without raising taxes.

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