Thursday, February 12, 2009

Hot Off the Legislative Press!

Senate Republican Office
Oregon State Capitol
900 Court Street NE, S-323
Salem, Oregon 97301

February 12, 2009 503.986.1950

$96 million tax increase passes Senate floor

While 180,000 look for work, Democrats raise taxes on small businesses
Salem, OR – A bill that will make Oregon families and small businesses pay $96 million more in taxes passed the Senate floor Thursday, 17 to 13. The bill is being heralded as a ‘job killer.’

“The end result of this bill is that Oregon businesses and families will pay $96 million more in taxes,” said Senator Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day), the Senate Republican Leader. “While Oregon hemorrhages jobs and families wonder where they will get the next paycheck, Democrats are putting a rush order on tax increases for employers and families. This isn’t just a disconnect from the federal tax code,
this is a disconnect from Oregonians who are hurting and looking for work.”

House Bill 2157 disconnects the state from the federal tax code, a technical maneuver that mutes the effect of federal tax relief for businesses and families in Oregon. The bill would eliminate several job creating provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act, the federal stimulus
package currently in Congress, such as:

• Extending bonus depreciation for businesses to 50% write-off of capital expenditures made in 2009

• Write-off for small businesses for up to $250,000 of capital expenditures made in 2009 The bill also allows the state to tax unemployment compensation.

Senator Frank Morse (R-Albany) read from his Chamber of Commerce list for five minutes on the Senate floor, highlighting the local, small businesses that will be hurt by the tax increase.

“We should be focusing on creating jobs, not killing them,” said Senator Chris Telfer (R-Bend), a Certified Public Accountant. “Oregon small business say this is going to cost them jobs. If a business in Oregon was thinking of using these tools to expand, invest in new equipment and hire new workers, they are going to have to think again. With over 180,000 Oregonians looking for work, this bill is
disconnected from reality.”

House Bill 2157 passed on a party line vote in the House of Representatives last week. The bill, House Bill 2157, was fast-tracked to the Senate Floor in order to avoid constitutional voting requirements required for raising taxes.

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