Last week, Oregon residents won a chance to overturn the burdensome tax hikes that the state legislature passed earlier this year. On January 26 of next year, a referendum will be held to determine if the $733 million worth of tax hikes passed earlier this year are upheld. A petition to put the taxes up to a public ballot gathered twice as many signatures as was necessary. Such an overwhelming amount of signatures shows that Oregon residents and businesses are eager for the chance of tax relief.
We here at ATR have written about the harmful tax increases facing the state before, and now it appears that Oregon taxpayers have had enough. The two measures that will be up for referendum concern corporate and individual income taxes. The personal income tax hike, for one, was raised to 11% – now tied with Hawaii for the highest in the country. Setting these rates too high does not solve overspending problems, and using income taxes to fund revenue shortfalls only worsens the problem. Business and individuals are mobile; high tax rates will only force them to move to different states. Job creation and local investment will suffer if these tax hikes are not overturned.
Oregon voters have the opportunity to say “no” to this harmful tax policy. Raising taxes is not the answer; reforming overspending practices is the only effective way for a long-term solution. On January 26th, Oregonians have the chance to send a clear message to their politicians. There is no need for citizens to pay the bills that mismanagement and politics created.