Sunday’s Oregonian did a great job of describing where we are in Salem right now. We encourage you to read it. The paper left out one issue that we’ve been deeply engaged with. The plan for the financing of the Student Success bill is detailed in 3427 -1. The highlights are described in the O’s article. Easier than reading that bill is this description

But there is one part of the bill we do not like. It would provide a ¼% income tax rate cut for taxpayers, reducing the tax rates from 5, 7, 9 and 9.9% to 4.75, 6.75, 8.75 and 9.9%. As we testified Thursday, this is not progressive. Couples with $250,000 or more would get a tax break of $625, but many others would get a significantly smaller tax break. For the average household with $50,000 in taxable income, the change would mean a reduction of around $125. For the 900,000 seniors on Social Security, the working poor who don’t owe taxes, and those who owe little, a tax rate cut would provide nothing. 

Our proposal treats every Oregonian the same, instead of treating the wealthy better than the poor. 

For two weeks we have been meeting with legislators to suggest they instead give every Oregonian a $50 refundable rebate. That would help cover the cost of the new Corporate Activity Tax that might show up in price increases. Even if every single penny of the new tax were passed onwhich we do not believe will happenthat would cover the first $10,000 in purchases. And groceries and gasoline are excluded from the new tax. Here’s our one-pager describing the idea. 

Now would be the time to reach out to your legislators. 

  1. Should they create a tax break for people, to offset any pass-through of the tax in prices or use the $150 million a year to fund education? 
  2. If they do create a tax break, should every Oregonian get the same $50, or should tax rates be cut by ¼%?

This week is the week to reach out. Go to your legislators’ town hall, call their Salem office, or send an email and let them know that you think.