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Kulongoski Signs Three New Tax Bills July 24, 2009

Posted by FairSentencing in : Current News , trackback

By signing three new bills, Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski may have ensured that Oregon voters will face a January ballot measure that pits businesses against unions and higher-end consumers.

Kulongoski signed measures that will raise the state’s corporate minimum tax, raise taxes on the state’s wealthiest individuals and raise income taxes on businesses.

One of the bills will steer the extra money raised through corporations into Oregon’s rainy day fund.

“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,” Kulongoski said in a statement. “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.”

One bill increases the minimum tax businesses will pay annually from $10 to $150. About two-thirds of Oregon corporations currently pay the $10 minimum tax.

It raises tax rates on businesses making more than $250,000, from 6.6 percent to 7.9 percent. The rate will last for two years, drop to 7.6 percent, then return to 6.6 percent for most corporations. All money collected above the 6.6 percent rate will help fill Oregon’s reserves beginning in 2013.

The third bill raises personal income tax rates on Oregon’s wealthiest individuals and joint tax-return filers for the next three years. The current 9 percent tax rate will jump to 10.8 percent for individuals earning more than $125,000 and joint filers earning between $250,000 and $500,000. Those earning more than $500,000 will pay 11 percent.

“We are asking corporations and the wealthiest Oregonians to pay their fair share to help protect the vital services we all depend on: education, health care and public safety,” Kulongoski said.

A group calling itself Oregonians Against Job-Killing Taxes has hired a signature-gathering firm led by former Oregon Republican Party Chairman Kevin Mannix and tax activists Russ Walker and Ross Day. The group wants to refer the measures to voters in January. The deadline for 57,000 valid signatures is Sept. 25.



1. Scott - August 14, 2009

This seems completely reasonable. I’m a small business owner. I have 5 employees, counting myself, and the current economic climate has hit us extremely hard. That said, however, we certainly don’t make 1/4 million a year and if we did I definitely wouldn’t be complaining about such a small tax increase. We also pay the laughable $10 minimum corporate tax. Raising it from $10 to $150 is nothing. If I can’t handle an extra $11.67 a month I’ve got bigger troubles to worry about.

2. Charles Coffelt - August 19, 2009

This tax is reasonable. For a very long time Oregon has given tax breaks businesses to get them to come here. They’re paying $10 now? That’s nothing. Make them pay the new tax, they can afford it easily. The group of wealthy has grown and the number of poor people that work for them for minimum wage got less. They do all they can to not pay benefits. This tax is a minor one and way overdue for businesses.
This is also a minor “bump” for those that make over $125k or $250k or $500k. They can afford this with no problem and it’s only fair.
Oregon has been poor for decades, going from very bad times to just barely making it. They have to fix that. If you love Oregon that much, invest in it. Start paying for what you love….or leave.
Pay the tax and stop whining.