SALEM, Ore. — As Oregonians rush to file tax returns before today’s deadline, House Republicans released a list of 118 proposed tax and fee increases that are currently under consideration in the Democratic-controlled Legislature this session. The list, available on the caucus’ Web site, suggests no Oregonians are safe from the threat of higher taxes and fees during this economic recession.
“We learned Monday that Oregon’s unemployment has risen to more than 12 percent, yet the few who remain in the state’s workforce will soon send more of their hard-earned dollars to Salem,” said House Republican Leader Bruce Hanna (R-Roseburg). “With Democrats in complete control of state government, the question is not whether taxes will be raised during this recession- but by how much.”
The 2009 tax and fee list reveals new or increased income taxes, property taxes, health care taxes, and “sin” taxes, as well as new taxes on goods such as bird seed, computers and sporting equipment. Oregonians will also face higher tax burdens through the proposed elimination of dozens of tax credits and tax incentives and millions of dollars in new fees on everything from hunting licenses to death certificates.
As all private industrial sectors lose jobs, the Legislature is poised to raise dozens of tax and fee increases on Oregon’s remaining businesses.
“Key industries are shedding jobs at a time when they are normally expected to be hiring,” said Deputy Republican Leader Kevin Cameron (R-Salem). “With little demand in our economy, this is a bad time to take more money away from individuals and businesses.”
Republican Whip Ron Maurer (R-Grants Pass) said House Republicans will call on the Legislature to refer major tax increases to the public for their approval.
“Oregonians expect the Legislature to fund core functions of government, and they deserve to have a voice on the hundreds of millions – potentially billions – of dollars in tax increases that are expected to pass this session,” Rep. Maurer said. “Oregonians should choose whether massive tax increases are necessary for the long-term health of our state, or whether these tax increases further burden Oregonians in order to simply fulfill the Legislature’s insatiable appetite for spending.”
The 2009 Proposed Tax and Fee Increases list can be found here and will be updated as more bills are introduced or advanced through the legislative process.