Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Class Warfare in Oregon

Michael Berger sends along an AP report on a tax just approved by voters in Oregon.

The AP notes that Oregon voters have consistently rebuffed legislative attempts to take more in tax revenue — such as a cigarette tax to pay for health insurance for children three years ago, two previous income tax measures that would have hit most Oregonians and nine sales tax measures over the decades.

So what kind of tax were government officials finally able to get through? A tax on those earning over $150,000. AP again:
Oregon has set aside its history of shooting down tax increases on statewide ballots, with voters endorsing higher taxes on businesses and the rich... The increases approved Tuesday will hit people with taxable income upward of $125,000 — estimated at fewer than 3 percent of filers. Many businesses who had been paying an annual $10 minimum will see that rise to at least $150.
Mike notes that it is a small tax, but an indication of the growing tax the rich mentality.

Also of note is union involvement in pushing for the tax. AP says:
It was a victory for public employee unions who were the spearhead of the campaign for the taxes and raised enough money to outspend the opponents.
As I have noted before, President Obama's strongest allies are unions, especially service unions. Andy Stern, president of the SEIU, has been one of the most frequent visitors to the Obama White House.

1 comment:

  1. Measure 67 turned the $10 minimum corporate tax into a sales tax. As point of pride, Oregon has never had a sales tax before. The law regarding the minimum tax was amended to read:

    "Each corporation or affiliated group of corporations filing a return under ORS 317.710 shall pay annually to the state, for the privilege of carrying on or doing business by it within this state, a minimum tax as follows:
    (a) If Oregon sales properly reported on a return are:
    (A) Less than $500,000, the minimum tax is $150.
    (B) $500,000 or more, but less than $1 million, the minimum tax is $500.
    (C) $1 million or more, but less than $2 million, the minimum tax is $1,000.
    (D) $2 million or more, but less than $3 million, the minimum tax is $1,500.
    ...etc. ...
    (L) $100 million or more, the minimum tax is $100,000.
    (b) If a corporation is an S corporation, the minimum tax is $150."

    Note that this is a tax rate based on sales, not income. Therefore it is a sales tax.

    The proponents of the bill threatened that if the measures were not passed the schools would have more 4-day school weeks. Working parents can't afford more days off work to attend to their kids, so the measures passed.

    Meanwhile the public employee unions are negotiating to get their pension payments doubled from 3% to 6% to make up investment losses in their pension fund.

    This isn't so much an example of the public buying in to class warfare as it is an example of unions blackmailing the public into supporting measures by threatening their jobs using the school system.