Tax 'realignment' amounts to increase

July 03, 2001 11:00 pm

Tax realignment

amounts to increase

If it sounds like a duck and walks like a duck, it must be a duck.

Recently the Oregon Senate voted 25-0 to boost the states income tax by $23.4 million. According to Sen. Ted Ferrioli, R-John Day, House Bill 2272 wasnt a tax increase at all. What it was, according to Ferrioli, was the result of provisions reconnecting the states income tax code to federal law, a technical fix the Legislature makes every session after the federal code is changed.

Quack, quack, quack.

The bill increases taxes by revising the period used to calculate inflation for state taxes. The change matches the federal timetable. Another reason for HB2272 is that income brackets and personal-exemption amounts are indexed for inflation each year.

These are based on varying periods ending June 30 of each tax year. The bill changes the base to the 12 months ending Aug. 31 of the previous year.

Quack, quack, quack.

Any way you read the bill, each Oregonian taxpayer will pay an average of $16.40 more. For higher-income taxpayers and taxpayers with larger families, youll be paying even more.

And Gov. John Kitzhaber has already included the $23.4 million in this years budget. Isnt that a little presumptuous with a Republican-controlled Legislature?

Not this legislative season! After all, it would appear that this sessions leadership is more in tune with giving the governor everything he wants and spending more on government than previously.

So why should we be surprised when a Republican senator says that they arent really raising our taxes just aligning the tax codes between the federal and state governments?

Quack, quack, quack.

When you look at your pay stub and you see that your state taxes have gone up again, remember that you didnt get a tax increase, you just got a tax realignment, thanks to both Republicans and Democrats.

Quack, quack!

Heres tool to use

The Observer from time to time publishes its Interaction Where to Write box, containing the phone numbers and addresses of elected officials. Readers often ask us when it will be published, so they can save it for future reference.

Were publishing Where to Write today. Maybe people will want to express their views to the governor or other elected officials about various issues. Clip out Where to Write and keep it handy as a tool you can use.