Oregon governor signs tax bills, opponents push for ballot
SALEM, Oregon: Yesterday, Gov. Ted Kulongoski signed three new tax bills that will raise the state’s corporate minimum tax, raise taxes on the state’s wealthiest individuals and raise income taxes on businesses. Gov. Kulongoski said, "Because of the national recession, Oregon is facing an economic crisis that is threatening education, public safety and health care, all critical services that Oregonians rely upon every day. These modest and targeted tax increases are a major step toward a more fair tax system for middle-class and working families in Oregon and will help meet the needs of families in crisis, stabilize local communities and preserve jobs." In reaction to the Monday news, opponents and supporters of the Oregon Tax Hike Referendum (2010) have scheduled for 40 to 50 paid signature gatherers, as well as volunteers, to start collecting signatures this week to place the ballot measure on the January 2010 ballot. Jon Chandler, a lobbyist for Oregon homebuilders and an opponent of the tax bills said, "Our message will be that you don't raise taxes in a bad economy, when people already are nervous about their jobs."
The three new tax bills include:
- The minimum business tax is scheduled to increase from $10 to $150.
- The wealthiest individual tax will raise the current 9% tax to 10.8% for individuals earning more than $125,000 and for joint filers earning anywhere between $250,000 and $500,000.
- The business tax is scheduled to last two years then the tax will drop to 7.6%, then return to the current 6.6% for most businesses.