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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

One of the Fifty Little Hoovers

This is still hard to believe given the recent history of this state when it comes to taxes of any kind:

Oregon Voters Approve Tax Increase, by William Yardley, NY Times: Two ballot measures that would raise taxes on businesses and higher-income residents in Oregon appeared headed for approval late Tuesday.
The tax increases, which would raise about $727 million largely for public education and social services, were approved last year by the Legislature, but later put to a public referendum after opponents gathered signatures in a petition campaign.
The Legislature, controlled by Democrats, has already put the $727 million into the current budget. So if the ballot items, known as Measures 66 and 67, had been rejected, lawmakers would have been forced to hold a special session to find other ways to reduce spending or raise revenue.
Tax measures have frequently failed at the polls in Oregon, one of only five states without a state sales tax. ...
Experts noted that, given the broader recession and Oregon’s 11 percent unemployment rate, Measures 66 and 67 had been carefully drawn to focus on wealthier residents and businesses. Measure 66 raises income taxes on individuals who earn more than $125,000 and on couples who earn more than $250,000... Measure 67 raises taxes and fees on most businesses. ...

As I said here, it would be better if federal help had been available and we didn't have to raise taxes or cut spending in a recession. But there was no choice but to do one or the other (or some combination of both), and this was the best available option.

Update: Kevin Drum adds:

I await the immediate immolation of Oregon's economy. That's what happened to America after Clinton raised taxes on the rich, after all.

    Posted by on Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 11:22 PM in Economics, Oregon, Taxes | Permalink  Comments (116)


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