Senate Approves Tax Increases

From the Statesman-Journal:

After a one-day delay, the Oregon Senate voted today for an increase in corporate income taxes that will produce an estimated $261 million to balance the next two-year state budget. House Bill 3405, which goes to Gov. Ted Kulongoski, passed on an 18-11 vote. All Democrats voted for it; all Republicans against it. One Republican was excused.

The one-day logjam was broken when Democratic Sen. Mark Hass of Beaverton agreed to vote for the bill in exchange for another bill, pending in the House Revenue Committee, that would divert money from permanent increases in the corporate tax after 2012 into the state’s general reserve fund.

Discuss.

Comments

  • (Show?)

    Those of us with long memories recall Mark Hass voting for a resolution supporting the Bush tax cuts in 2001. We will add yesterday's vote to that memory. But we will also applaud his vote today. And we will hope that his son, who apparently was in the emergency room last night, is OK. *** Given that the corporate profits tax is a pretty volatile revenue source, sending some of it to a rainy day fund certainly isn't the craziest idea I've ever heard.

  • backstory (unverified)
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    Kudos to Rep. Read for helping Senator Hass find his way...

  • (Show?)

    I had two reactions--the first was huge relief that it wasn't going to be made temporary (necessitating a dicey return to the House), and my second was a nod and raise of the eyebrow. Huh. Actually seems like a fine idea; could be that this makes it better legislation.

    Although many still think the magic bullet for our feast and famine budget cycle is a sales tax, the real key is an adequate rainy day fund. Bust out the champagne. (Or better yet, IPA.)

  • (Show?)

    note to self: work with state rep/sen in 2011 to hold up key legislation in return for special favor. holding Leg hostage: works great. screw democracy & progressivism: let's get what we can get, any way we can.

  • genop (unverified)
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    I feel a pulse, the patient lives!

  • (Show?)

    Special thanks to all the school advocates who worked the phones contacting Hass. It would be encouraging if the Washington County Dems reviewed Hass's record carefully before trowing support his way in the next election.

  • gabe (unverified)
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    Outstanding work !! I love it any time we can stick it to the rich !! Corporations or individuals, doesn't matter to me !!

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    When I first saw the post, I thought it read as "One republican was executed"...

    We can dream can't we?

  • Connor Allen (unverified)
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    Looks like Hass came to his senses. Or was scared of what his colleagues would do to him. From the sound of it, they were furious.

  • (Show?)

    Excellent compromise. The reserve fund needs more funding, and from an entirely cynical point of view, during the next "storm" one can always revisit that diversion if necessary.

    Also speaking cynically, the fact that Hass would switch his vote and drop his demand for nonpermanence makes his opposition seem decidedly unprincipled, literally speaking (as in, no great principle seems to have guided his decision). I think he instead had a touch of James-Wilsonitis: fear of being "the guy that killed the budget," rather than being one of 18 who voted for a tax increase.*

    *that characterization is probably more a dramatic overstatement from the play 1776 than a fully accurate presentation of his views, but there you go...

  • (Show?)

    RE: "It would be encouraging if the Washington County Dems reviewed Hass's record carefully before trowing support his way in the next election."

    Don't you worry about that. It will be a cold day in hell if Hass gets any kind of support from Washington County Democrats as long as I'm a member. Many, many of us are mad as can be and we won't forget. Now, who else is there to run for Hass' seat?

    It was "nice" of Hass to change his vote on the only day that a bill can be recalled from the table. Of course, it took a huge amount of pressure to get him to get off his high horse and I thank all who contacted him on the issue -- and the Oregonian's editorial this morning. Nevertheless, we cannot trust Hass any more after yesterday's unbelievable action.

  • (Show?)

    It will be interesting to hear how many calls and emails Mark got this morning. I suspect that his office was overwhelmed.

    While I like the solution, I didn't like the process and I told his office as much. Mark should have started this discussion a long time ago so his concerns could have been part of the original bill. Pushing for no permanent increase in the corporate minimum is really going off the reservation. It also lacks a solid economic rationale given that the corporate support by the state exceeds the minimum tax payments.

  • Kell (unverified)
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    "Posted by: gabe | Jun 11, 2009 12:59:45 PM Outstanding work !! I love it any time we can stick it to the rich !! Corporations or individuals, doesn't matter to me !!"

    I'm fine with raising taxes to balance the budget, to pay for services, whatever but the above attitude dampens my enthusiasm. Hate and punishment shouldn't be reasons for legislating or raising taxes. It makes us no better than the other side of the political fence.

  • Sid Leader (unverified)
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    A day late, but definitely not a dollar short!

  • (Show?)

    Kudos to Novick for his Think Out Loud appearance this morning. Nice to have someone so articulate on our side.

  • Scott in Damascus (unverified)
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    I second Kell's sentiment - it has nothing to do with revenge and everything to do with fair share.

    Now that this has passed, can someone explain to me why Clackamas County residents have to pay $135 a year to use the library starting in a couple of weeks?

  • (Show?)

    Tobias Read came up with a winning idea for Mark Hass to agree to...Great job Tobias! And Mark Hass showed grace in how he explained his change of heart on the bill.

    And if the leg drafts the bill correctly so that the money from the top corp bracket goes directly into the rainy day fund and not the general fund they can keep it out of any kicker calculation when it does better than anticipated. How this fits into the other plan for improving the funding of the rainy day fund isn't clear yet -- they haven't crossed that bridge yet and don't need to.

  • sunflowrs21 (unverified)
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    While there is a giant sigh of relief, I have to point out that it was Jason Atkinson who avoided having to vote on either of this bills, and stayed out of the HB 2009, HB 2116 health care votes today as well. That will come in handy when he's running for governor...

  • Boats (unverified)
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    I am looking forward to the referendum myself.

  • (Show?)

    And if the leg drafts the bill correctly so that the money from the top corp bracket goes directly into the rainy day fund and not the general fund they can keep it out of any kicker calculation when it does better than anticipated.

    Is that true? Genius....

  • dddave (unverified)
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    "Don't you worry about that. It will be a cold day in hell if Hass gets any kind of support from Washington County Democrats as long as I'm a member. Many, many of us are mad as can be and we won't forget. Now, who else is there to run for Hass' seat?

    Eating your own young now? Could all you brain trusts please explain how the f*#k you are taxing me into prosperity? God help us, we know the dems won't. But hey, as long as all the teachers and state working are taken care of, right? Screw me and my employees and my business, I'm just in the PRIVATE SECTOR. Freaking idiots.

  • backbeat (unverified)
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    Steve Novick, you did a great job on OPB this morning, enjoyed listening as I drove back from Bend. I tried to call but they never took any. My point: not-for-profit orgs in Oregon pay a minimum $25 every year plus fees based on their net assets. The org I work for paid $900+...far more than the lousy $10 corporate minimum. Talk about unfair....

    Thanks for all you do Steve.

  • (Show?)

    ddave: Could all you brain trusts please explain how the f*#k you are taxing me into prosperity?

    Presuming any woman could stand you, ddave, are you married? Do you make more than $250,000 a year?

    If not, you are not being taxed by this bill. If so - go cry me a river.

    Again, if you don't like the civilization that taxes bring, there are plenty of nations that have neither. Just go get your AK-47 and hold out for as long as you are able.

  • brigid (unverified)
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    I think Mark Haas had an abrupt visit to the woodshed. Likewise... congrats to Steve Novick. If the government haters want to undue this and defund education, let's have a debate about tax fairness in this state and who really has been paying the taxes. Corporate minimums of $10. Come on!!!

  • LT (unverified)
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    Posted by: Boats | Jun 11, 2009 2:32:44 PM

    I am looking forward to the referendum myself. ...

    Are you actually going to collect signatures, or just blog about it?

    There seems to be a lack of available cold hard data in print form (hard copy or website)on the relationship between jobs and taxes--lots of rhetoric, little hard data. One Republican office told me today that the statement "The state economist said tax increases would cost jobs" may have been taken out of context.

    If there really is data to show that jobs were added to the Oregon economy after Measure 30 passed, surely that data exists somewhere. Those in favor of referral owe us that data--how many jobs in sales, hospitality, construction, manufacturing, health care, child care, and other sectors were created when Russ Walker & Co. won the Measure 30 election.

    Unless that data can be produced in print or on a website with the source shown, it is just rhetoric. People who prefer data driven decisions have the right to look for actual data, and calling them names or responding "where is the study showing tax increases don't lose jobs?" won't work. Making people angry doesn't convince them to sign a petition or cast a vote supporting a referral.

    Teachers, police, public employees in all sorts of sectors (clerical, health-related, technicians, etc.) are also employed. If the petitioners want to say "only those in the private sector are truly employed, tax paying citizens", that is unlikely to win over employees in the non-profit sector (YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, etc..

    Laying off public employees or moving them from full time to part time does not help the economy, as such folks then can barely buy food, pay rent, etc.

  • Grant Schott (unverified)
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    Those of us who have worked for a Demcoratic majority since the early 90's are seeing the benefits for our state. Having a maverick Democrat or two like Hass and Shauffler would be all right if there were a few moderate Republicans who would switch over and if we didn't have the senseless supermajority requiremnent for revenue increases. That's a luxery we don't have though. The Republicans use tough party discipline to block funding, so I guess we are forced do the same to acheive any reveue increases for state services. I applaud everyone who successfully lobbied Senator Hass on this bill and the compromise version seems almost as good as the original.

  • Glen Geller (unverified)
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    As Vice Chair of the Washington County Democratic Party, I must speak up about comments made by my friend Lee Coleman. While Lee is entitled to his own personal feelings and may choose to support whomever he wants in elections, he does not speak for the Washington County Democratic Party. This issue is much too fresh to make any rash statements about who the Party may or may not support in future elections, and we will not succumb to blog-baiting by the opposition and other trolls. At this point the important thing is the bill has passed, and vital services to the public will remain in place. One thing is for sure, the Senate republicans ALL voted against it, even though that would have meant loss of services for all, and increased suffering by the most vulnerable citizens in their respective districts.

  • (Show?)

    Lee Coleman: It was "nice" of Hass to change his vote on the only day that a bill can be recalled from the table. Of course, it took a huge amount of pressure to get him to get off his high horse and I thank all who contacted him on the issue -- and the Oregonian's editorial this morning. Nevertheless, we cannot trust Hass any more after yesterday's unbelievable action.

    I agree it's going to take a lot of fence-mending to put this stunt behind us. And really, that's what I see it as: the classic political stunt of striking at your own base to raise your profile and prove your centrist bona-fides.

    That's really the only way any Democrat was allowed make a name for himself in the 1990s, and get in good with our conservative owned media.

    The problem that Senator Hass hasn't noticed is that the center of the country is no longer dithering between gutting government services and wasting trillions on ill-thought out wars. Instead, they're pissed off as all hell about the constant overwhelming corruption among firms "too big to fail", are worried about their health care, schools, and want to keep their family wage jobs from being outsourced (with GOP encouragement) overseas.

    Too many people are treading water, nearly drowning, to play games with unemployment insurance and the like.

    So instead of Senator Hass making a name for himself for eventual statewide ambitions, it's really come close to killing them.

    But, on a good note, he did end it well. So that is definitely a point in his favor. He's no Joe Lieberman. Let's put it that way.

    I'm willing to call it a mistake, and put it all behind us.

  • (Show?)

    Oh, and let me say for the record, that I am not speaking in any official capacity for the Washington County Democrats. (As if I had that authority in the first place.) Senator Hass is not even my senator.

    I'm just spouting off my own opinion.

  • LT (unverified)
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    " if we didn't have the senseless supermajority requiremnent for revenue increases"

    OK, once the session is over, can we start having debates about how to end things like the supermajority and also do kicker reform? Unless they are chisled into the capitol marble they can be changed, whether statutory or constitutional.

    Or is all the talk again going to be about who the caucus decides to support, which district has an acceptable R to D ratio, which campaign has "steam", whether people in Portland understand downstate districts, etc.?

    Folks, do you realize how many people don't register with a major party these days?

    According to the April Elections Div. registration numbers, 43% are registered Democrats, 32% register Republican. About 20% are NAV, and the rest in small parties.

    If every Democrat votes for the Democratic nominee for Gov. and every Republican votes for the GOP nominee, the winner will be determined by those NAV and small party voters.

    Let's make today a landmark. Obviously, one person CAN make a difference regardless of what caucuses want.

    I live in a school district which just recently elected 2 new school board members who talked in their victory statements about making data driven decisions.

    There are reasonable Republican offices in the capitol, and others who don't understand the concept of data driven decisions. "Oh, I understand you are trying to make a point" said one such staffer when I asked the source of data on taxes and jobs being quoted.

    Let's start a conversation about what ordinary Oregonians can related to: is it fair for someone earning less than $10 per hour to pay roughly the same tax rate as people earning over $90,000? If not, why not?
    Does this state need wholesale tax reform or at least debate about it? Is the current property tax system fair or should it be changed? How does arguing over taxes help in areas where half the houses for sale in a particular zip code are either bank owned or in foreclosure?

    To listen to some of the Republicans, you'd think low taxes and raiding reserve funds (basically what Back to Basics is, regardless of spin) would accomplish everything short of curing the common cold. But where is their connection to ordinary folks who worry about what might happen if there is another down revenue forecast?

    Is it time to tackle high public administrator pay, or just allow the union bashing to go on as if any unionized employee has the high salary and car allowance some top public administrators have as part of their pay package?

    That is the sort of issue Teddy Roosevelt was concerned about--called progressive taxation. As well as breaking up large corporations with Anti-Trust. If someone goes on an anti-tax rant, ask them if Teddy Roosevelt was a liberal, a conservative, or something else. That often makes them stop and think.

    There are young people who don't remember the details of debates over Measure 5, 47/50, or for that matter may not have paid much attention to the debates over Measures 28 and 30. People who lived through those debates should enlighten them--and the rest of the general public who don't live and breathe politics.

    And what about quality child care? If there are families with 2 income earners and the wife becomes pregnant again, at what point does the cost of health care drive them to consider trying to live on one income? If they do that, will they have enough extra money to patronize stores, restaurants, etc?

    There was an excellent video oral history on the Oregon Channel (one of many) interviewing former Gov. Barbara Roberts. In it, she talked about the educational component of her Conversation with Oregon, and how the resulting tax reform was derailed on a procedural vote by Speaker Larry Campbell.

    Back when Barbara Roberts was legislator, Sec. of State, and Governor, Democrats were known as a party which had heated debates over issues. What happened to that?

    What I am saying is that to attract voters in 2010, Democrats and progressives need to recapture that spirit.

    Look at the Virginia Democratic Gov. primary. Terry McAuliffe lost to a rural legislator. How could that be, given that McAuliffe considered himself a genius political consultant and fundraiser? Could it be that Deeds had more of a connection to ordinary people (the way Obama did during the primary)? A Washington Post cartoon implied as much, with a caption about Deeds being stronger than words, and picture of McAuliffe speaking out of a billboard.

    Think of all the serious topics Pres. Obama discussed in his campaign for President. Then ponder this quote he gave Newsweek recently.

    The American people, I think, not only have a toleration but also a hunger for explanation and complexity, and a willingness to acknowledge hard problems," Obama said. "I think one of the biggest mistakes that is made in Washington is this notion you have to dumb down things for the public."

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/197889/page/2

  • CDG (unverified)
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    Congratulations, Democrats. In this economy, the rational response to HB 2649 is for affected taxpayers to spend less, save less and/or give less money.

    As affected taxpayers, my wife and I will be contributing less to charity and curtailing our spending.

    I trust that those of you who are not affected by HB 2649 will pay your "fair share" by increasing your charitable contributions and retail spending (with cash, not credit).

    We're all in this together, right?

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)
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    What is going on that Jason Atkinson was not present for the 3-5 critical votes?

    Also, what is to keep the whole tax increase from being contested and overturned in the November general election ala 2003 or 2004?

  • (Show?)

    A fascinating rorchach this is turning out to be. For what it's worth, 1.8% on a 250k income is $4,500--the amount of the increase for dual-income families in the new bracket. (If dual income families are in the higher bracket, > $500k, that would amount to $10k.) It's not nuthin, but that's how progressive income taxes work--the more you earn, the more you pay.

    Given the massive increases in the last decade's income for those at the top who will be affectected by this tax, it doesn't seem unreasonable to me. But of course, not everyone believes in progressive taxation.

  • Jef Green, PR Director - Oregon Business Association (unverified)
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    I have to say I'm disappointed in both the general lack of big picture vision for our state and the knee jerk reaction to vilify a Democrat legislator and OBA for taking a principled stand on this issue. As with all important issues we take up, OBA functions as a bipartisan organization that seek common ground and real solutions, always with the interest of Oregon as whole.

    What is missing from this conversation is the realization that there are those in Oregon who oppose any tax increases and that those forces have repeatedly successfully overturned past revenue increases coming out of Salem.

    OBA in an effort to fund priorities of our state (K-12, higher education, public safety, etc.) put forth a corporate tax package increasing business contributions by 33% with the express goal of helping the state weather the current budget crisis. A permanent corporate minimum hike (ranging between $250 and $50,000) and a temporary excise tax increase. This is the business community answering the call to shared sacrifice during an economic crisis.

    You can go back and forth on whether or not corporations "pay their fair share" or "how many jobs are lost by increasing taxes". There is however no argument that because legislators were not able to put forth a revenue package supported by even our most progressive business members, the likelihood of a referendum and the consequences of that battle will be severe.

    The last thing I will add is; like Sen. Hass and Sen. Morse, OBA supports comprehensive progressive tax reform. It is not an exaggeration to say that OBA and its members are already at the table and we are waiting for the rest of our elected officials to get there.

    That is what this whole thing has been about. Businesses stepping up to help get the state through a budget crisis and then getting down to “business” on long term tax reform.

    For those of you who question the OBA commitment to a better Oregon, I suggest you take a minute and check out our legislative agenda at www.oba-online.org. Whether it is school funding, environmental protection, gay rights or a host of other progressive issues, those interested in a better Oregon have an ally in Oregon Business Association.

  • (Show?)

    "those interested in a better Oregon have an ally in Oregon Business Association."

    How about those interested in seeing business pay something much closer to historic levels--which would make school funding, environmental protection and a "host of other" issues important to EVERYONE and not just progressives a lot easier?

  • (Show?)

    Jeff, are you sure you have the math right on this? I would understand that this is a marginal rate, which means that every dollar up to $249,999 for an individual would continue to be taxed at the previous rate. It's only every dollar ABOVE that level that would go up to 10.8%, right? So your example couple would have to earn a collective million dollars per annum, in order to see a $10,000 increase in Oregon income tax. Why CDG and his wife plan to sweat a 10K hit on a million bucks a year in taxable income I'm not sure--maybe they're just getting by, y'know.

  • BCR (unverified)
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    Torridjoe is right about this being an increase on the marginal rate. So it doesn't apply to the first $125,000 (single filer) or $250,000 (joint). Jeff's numbers are off.

  • (Show?)

    Thanks BCR.

    Say your HH income is $300K, enough to put you in the stratosphere of Oregon earners. By my math, your additional tax would be $900...an overall tax increase of three-tenths of one percent of your taxable income.

    Three tenths of one percent.

  • Terry Parker (unverified)
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    Still missing from the greedy legislative agenda of new tax packages is a bicycle tax that would be directly levied on deadbeat bicyclists. Sharing the road must also mean sharing the financial responsibility. Obviously, too many legislators have a conflict of interest when it comes to freeloading off of other taxpayers and are protecting the loose change in their own pockets.

  • Scott Jorgensen (unverified)
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    Kurt-

    I just called Atkinson's office. He's apparently out of town on business. In response to your other inquiry, there is nothing to stop this measure from being referred to the voters, the way they were in 03 and 04. You're not the same Kurt Chapman that I know from Grants Pass, are you? If so, wow, what a small world...

  • Scott Jorgensen (unverified)
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    Kurt-

    I just called Atkinson's office. He's apparently out of town on business. In response to your other inquiry, there is nothing to stop this measure from being referred to the voters, the way they were in 03 and 04. You're not the same Kurt Chapman that I know from Grants Pass, are you? If so, wow, what a small world...

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)
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    Scott, thanks for commenting. If you are referring to the builder, no that isn't me. I live in Medford and used to work with a Scott Jorgenson, if that is you, then hello and yes; it is a small world!

  • (Show?)

    Kell, don't overreact to "Gabe" - no way to be certain, but his comments read like a rightie troll being sarcastic.

  • Boats (unverified)
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    The point the cheerleaders are missing is that lots of people rightly believe the "we're in this together" rhetoric of the majority is complete and utter bull crap.

    Thanks to their ever increasing appetite for public revenue via tinkering with tax rates or new taxes and fees altogether, brainstorming how to end the kicker, and never making real cuts to the government (easiest one? Get the State out of the liquor business), and never asking for anything in the way of sacrifice or "increased contributions" from their own voters, Democrats enjoy no trust on issues of taxation.

    Hence referendum and initiative efforts gain support, even from people with nothing to theoretically lose in the class warfare being waged.

    Me and my wife don't meet the threshold for a tax hit under the bills but it doesn't matter. Everyone should take a hit or no one should. Anything less is parasitical and definitely lacks moral courage.

  • Joseph (unverified)
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    "There is however no argument that because legislators were not able to put forth a revenue package supported by even our most progressive business members, the likelihood of a referendum and the consequences of that battle will be severe."

    What in the what? What does this even mean? That if legislators had passed a temporary corporate tax increase, there wouldn't be a referendum? Do you really think Grover Norquist, Russ Walker, and Loren Parks are taking direction from the Oregon Business Association? The leg could pass a tax increase half as large and lasting only five minutes and the anti-tax nuts would still refer it.

    Your perception of the OBA's influence on well-funded anti-government ideologues is highly amusing.

    Or are you saying that voters are more willing to support a temporary tax increase? Or that OBA's position on the referendum will actually have a measurable impact on voters?

    If voters think large corporations are getting away with murder now, why in the world would they support a temporary fix to that problem?

    The mind boggles at OBA's outsized opinion of its own influence.

  • Jay Bozievich (unverified)
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    Jeff Alworth,

    Who pays corporate taxes?

    (Hint: It is NOT the corporation.)

    Does that make a minimum corporate tax based on sales volume (Read sales tax) progressive?

  • (Show?)

    How do you know it won't be the corporation? The mighty theory of competition suggests that the companies who sacrifice a tiny amount of profit will come out ahead of those who simply pass the costs along. Or maybe they'll finally retrofit sustainably and more than recover their deficit.

    Even if they do pass on the costs, I'm only touched if I buy their product--and even then, the extra is likely to be less than what I'd pay if I was shouldering the burden on my own return.

  • (Show?)

    Oh, and I was under the impression it's based on profits, not sales. So nothing like a sales tax, Mr. Wizard.

  • CDG (unverified)
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    To "torridjoe": These bills are expected to generate approximately $733 million over the course of the 2009-2011 biennium. I haven't seen the expected revenue figures for each bill, but rest assured the revenue to be raised by HB 2649 equates to many, many $900 payments. Affected taxpayers will do their part, as they have no choice. As I stated earlier, I trust unaffected taxpayers are prepared to share in the sacrifice and make charities and local businesses whole. If not, jobs will be lost.

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)
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    Sorry Torrid, it is my belief that they passed a bill basing tax increases on gross revenue. If I'm wrong I'm certain many will correct me.

  • (Show?)

    Jay,

    The old anti-tax belief that you are promoting that "corporations don't pay taxes, they just pass it on to customers" is not valid in the small amounts being discussed by the corp. minimums. You could claim a possible exception of utilities where their rates include their taxes, but since the utilities are regulated to make a profit it doesn't impact them. No other companies can pass on all costs to customers. There is such a thing as market pricing that doesn't particularly care what your costs are.

    I would be hard put to find an Oregon company that can set market pricing and just add this tax to its price. Over the long term prices do need to reflect a cost of capital that ensures a profit on top of all costs including taxes. However, this market price will be set by larger profitable companies paying well above the minimum taxes. Is Intel going to raise its prices for semiconductors because it has a sweet deal in Oregon that allows it not to pay the normal tax rate? No. It's prices are set in a world market with competitors. To the extent it has some limited monopoly pricing power, it prices to maximize revenue all the time and cost is not factor. Will it move out of Oregon because it will now pay more taxes than it did last year and give up the sweet deal that allows it to pay the minimum instead of the normal rate? They would be stupid to do so.

  • CDG (unverified)
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    To "boats": Well said.

  • Robert Collins (unverified)
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    Okay, we are going to increase the income tax rates on single wage earners making more than 250K and households making more than 500K. Sounds good.

    I'd be willing to bet the vast majority of folks in those income brackets currently live in the greater metropolitan area. There is a state that has no income tax twenty miles north of here.

    If folks decide to move there, the unintended consequence of this tax hike may in fact be reduced tax revenue. I guess we will have to wait and see.

  • Robert Collins (unverified)
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    By the way, there is a gross receipts component to the corporate part of this bill, Torrid. It's pretty small, but it's in there.

  • (Show?)

    Senator Hass did a very good thing today. This is an excellent compromise that adds to Oregon's emergency fund instead of paving the way for stark increases in spending before we have steady and efficient revenue sources to support them.

  • Jef Green, PR Director - Oregon Business Association (unverified)
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    Joseph,

    1. OBA was not the only business organization to support the OBA Revenue Package. If fact even organizations that were opposed to our proposed tax increases had indicated to legislators that, even though they didn't support the plan itself, they would not support a referendum of the package.

    2. Imagine if you will the difference between two tough ballot fights over increasing corporate taxes. (Tough because of the before mentioned history of Oregon voters not approving taxes at the ballot box.)

    Now in one of these campaigns you have the entire business community squaring off with the unions in the classic money slinging battle. Not only is it costly to all involved and frustrating for voters but these battles make it harder for the different interest groups to come together on other issues... i.e. the environment, health care reform.

    Now imagine the other campaign (which call me naive, I think may not have been necessary), where instead of having the classic business vs. union battle, you have a strong contingency of businesses (including all the largest employers in the state (OBA members) coming out in SUPPORT of the tax increase.

    So with schools, higher ed, public safety and a balanced budget on the line, why not take the common ground?

    Heck, then we could move on and use that goodwill of having compromised and begin working together on comprehensive tax reform, building the rainy day fund, ect...

    That my friend is what OBA is all about.

  • (Show?)

    TJ, like you, my tax bracket is ... lower. And so, I'm pretty ignorant about these things.

    To the person upthread who asked about corporate taxes and progressivity--why should companies be any different? Oregon's businesses are comparatively low-taxed, so this seems like a reasonable re-set.

  • livermore (unverified)
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    this was too close for comfort. we need to get more democrats registered to vote. cause we have too many needs to take care of.

    the rich people are going to try real hard to take food out of our mouths. we have to stop them.

    i am mad seeing all the bmws and mercedes cars. they don't care. we should have equal rights.

    we have to pass a law that they can't take our jobs away either.

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)
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    Oh lord, won't you buy me a mercedes benz? My Friends all drive porsches;I must make amends Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends So lord won't you buy me a mercedes benz?

    With appropriate apologies to Janis Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company.

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    Kurt Chapman: Sorry Torrid, it is my belief that they passed a bill basing tax increases on gross revenue. If I'm wrong I'm certain many will correct me.

    OK, I will. We have to see what comes out of the negotiation committees, but HB2649, as it presently stands, makes these changes:

    1] It increases the marginal rate above 250K for married filers to 10.8% and puts in another marginal increase of +0.2% (from 10.8% to 11%) at 500K per year.

    2] It CUTS taxes on certain people who are 65 and/or who are blind, by giving them $1000 exceptions on certain S-corporations they didn't have before. (Presumably, to help retirees using it is as their sole source of income.)

    At one time, it also increased the alt min rates, but looking at the current enrolled version, that appears to have been stripped.

    torridjoe is right. The marginal rate is really only a very small increase, and the $900 more for people making $300,000 a year is correct, because only the 50K above the base 250K would be subject to the new rate, which itself is only a relatively small increase in percentage above what they already pay.

  • rlw (unverified)
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    Jeff, listening to OPB Radio last night, it was a good and necessary discussion to context Oregon's corporate tax structure which, apparently, has not been touched in seventy years. The explanation of the advantages offered the giants who sell everywhere BUT Oregon for the most part was particularly enlightening, as well as the facts- and numbers-based breakdown of just how little they DO pay in comparison to the working stiff. Some 6% of PROFITS only as compared to our 9% of our ENTIRE earnings...

    The debate was pretty lively as to the social consciousness requested of those making hugely more than they can spend towards those who do the gruntwork of supplying them those earnings; and those who cannot even, right now, pay for base necessities.

  • alcatross (unverified)
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    Torridjoe says: Even if they do pass on the costs, I'm only touched if I buy their product...

    A bit of a simplistic viewpoint... Businesses don't just sell products/services to individual consumers - they also sell products/services to other businesses and government entities. Businesses you buy products/services from and government entities your tax dollars pay for.

    It rolls downhill, Torridjoe. You're also 'touched' when businesses you indirectly do business with and government entities buy products/services on your behalf. So as you can see, there's a whole lot of 'touching' going on - whether you're consciously aware of it or not.

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    "It rolls downhill, Torridjoe. You're also 'touched' when businesses you indirectly do business with and government entities buy products/services on your behalf. So as you can see, there's a whole lot of 'touching' going on - whether you're consciously aware of it or not."

    ...and the amounts would be so distributed and infinitesimal as to barely exist. If that's the price one has to pay for tax fairness, bring it on.

  • bakl (unverified)
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    This fight between the haves and have nots is futile. First you can tax the haves all you want and there isn't enough to solve all these problems. Second all working individual who are working hard for their money should have a right to keep what they have worked hard for whatever there income level. Those who have more employ other Oregonians. Our family spends more of our descresionary income every year hiring people do thing we do not wish to do so we can have more family time. Our state is becoming California. I see Bankrupcy......

  • Keynsian Schmeynsian RW (unverified)
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    bakl, you are unbelievable. "Do nothing, since doing something will avail to nothing". What freaking ROCK did you climb out from under for that thought? Oy.

    ANd then you go on with, "We hire other people to do our dirty work so we can be a family together more hours of the day. Boo hoo..."... ummm in my world, little b, that's what upper class people do to sustain their lives as they want them. FOlks like you want gratitude spent in your direction tha you do spend your wealth to have others of us do your dirty work so that we might then support our families by our absence in support of your presence...

    It sounds as if perhaps, as more and more people fall to the echelon where they are begging on their knees for a chance to dry your wife's china on Christmas... you blame them if they too would like just a basic standard of living, nothing like the business you describe. What removed pinnacle did you look DOWN from for THAT thought?

    Are your substandard flitterings disconnected from the substance of the discussion the best your class can do? Honest to gawd?

    I suppose this begs a real qusetion of you, b: if you characterize the piddling 1.5 percentage tax hike or so that is being touted as ineffectual, then why is your class berating so loudly as regards the unfairness of it all? It's nothing! You've said as much! Further, are you really going to characterize the pirates and buffoons who destroyed this country again as hardworking and deserving of their millions? Please? and the people who are homeless and broken in direct result of the shameless antics of a decade somehow not hardworking and not deserving?

    Finally: is this really a discussion? Or a sterling way to waste time and temper?

    GOsh.... I just gape when I read posts such as that above by "b".... atrocious! Weak! And I fear for the next generation with such people in control of the purses.

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