‘Sine Die’: The highlights of Oregon’s historic 2021 legislative session

The Oregon Legislature wrapped up Saturday, (6-26-21) marking the end of an eventful session that included high profile legislation, a resignation and the first expulsion of a legislator in state history. The session, which began Jan. 21 after a two-day delay from concerns about possible attacks from right-wing extremists, saw lawmakers take up bills addressing pandemic relief, wildfire relief, police…

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Lawmakers pass bill to make illegal immigrants eligible for Medicaid

Oregon’s State Senate on Saturday (6-26-21) passed a bill that would make illegal immigrants in the state eligible for Medicaid-funded medical services — sending the legislation to Democratic Gov. Kate Brown for signature. The bill, HB 335, expands eligibility to adults who would otherwise qualify for Medicaid-funded state medical assistance program but are excluded due to their immigration status. It passed…

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Oregon Legislature set to adjourn without refunding $300 million in taxes generated by stimulus checks

Oregonians won’t get a refund on $300 million in personal income taxes generated by federal stimulus payments, as the Legislature is set to conclude its 2021 regular session on Friday or early Saturday without addressing the issue. Early in the session, both Democrats and Republicans had expressed support for resolving the thorny situation and returning the money to roughly 900,000 Oregon…

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Timber tax bill is finally dead

Good News! The House’s radical rewrite of the timber tax (HB 2379) died in conference committee. The base timber tax, which funds programs in the Dept of Forestry and at the OSU forestry school has been repealed because of the House’s insistence. President Courtney explained the mess on the Senate floor. The timber tax was part of a plan to…

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Lawmakers try again to introduce bill that would repay Oregonians for tax on stimulus

UPDATE (6-28-21): this bill was passed! Creates refundable income tax credit to adjust for effect on federal income subtraction of recovery rebates allowed to personal income taxpayers. Provides for credit to be claimed on personal income tax return for 2021 tax year. Applies to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2020, and before January 1, 2021. Provides that…

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Oregon Senate passes MASSIVE small business tax during pandemic

On Monday June 14th, The Oregon Senate Finance and Revenue Committee debated and voted to pass SB 139 which raises tax rates on family owned small businesses.   It raises the tax rate for pass through entities like LLCs and partnerships.  This tax only hits these type of family owned businesses while C-corporations and publicly traded corporations will not be taxed…

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Rent, fires, taxes and energy vie for votes as Oregon Legislature nears quitting time

The Legislature issued an eviction order to itself on Monday, saying it had to wrap up its work and get out of the Capitol in under two weeks. The official session calendar given to lawmakers says Friday is the target date to go home. With fatigued lawmakers and staff eyeing the exits, the buzz that the House and Senate were…

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Sen. Boquist: Vaccine data, crime excuses, campaign finance, more

Highlights, excerpts from Sen. Boquist newsletter  The establishment legislature is racing to pass higher budgets along with end run bills against citizens then flee the closed Oregon State Capitol.  Follow bills on OLIS, and in Joint Ways and Means – a 5000 series bill is a budge bill.  This past week, I voted against most of the state budget bills, some containing…

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Controversial Passenger Vehicle Tax Moves to Ways and Means

Last week (May 25th), the Joint Tax Committee moved HB 2342 out of committee to Ways & Means. Adopting the -9 amendments, the bill caused multiple members of the committee to express concerns. The bill has a 3/5ths requirement to pass both floors – i.e., if signed into law, will implement a new tax. The proposed tax and fee structure…

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Tax Hell Week: income tax, property tax, bed tax

This is one of those tax mania weeks in the Oregon Legislature. Income Tax Increase (HB 3328): Yesterday, hearings were held on HB 3328 which creates an income tax increase to fund wildlife programs. This follows the Portland-area model of creating a flood of micro-income tax increases to pay for government bloat: • Portland $50 Art Program Income Tax •…

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Bill raises alcohol taxes 3000%

Sipping a glass of wine and drinking a beer could cost a lot more in Oregon under a proposed bill that would increase alcohol taxes by as much as 3,000 percent to pay for substance abuse prevention and treatment programs. Reps. Tawna Sanchez (D-Portland) and Rachel Prusak (D-Tualatin/West Linn) sponsored House Bill 3296 to boost the wholesale tax on beer…

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Politicians push 3 timber taxes on already hurting rural Oregon

“Fate of Oregon’s timber industry hangs in the balance. Struggling to adapt while the coronavirus and wildfires remain a threat, the industry says a path to a recovery is uncertain.” Washington Post 9-28-20 The Washington Post headline reveals how serious our timber communities are in. It is serious. The 2021 Legislature, House Ag & Natural Resource Committee is considering three…

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Chipping Away at Property Tax Reform

As one of the few states without a general sales tax, Oregon depends heavily on property tax for revenue. Real property is taxed based on its value — know as ad valorem taxes. As real estate prices spiked in the 1990s — along with taxes — citizens began to become resentful of the tax windfall enjoyed by their governments. In…

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