Early next year, Oregon voters have the chance to overturn a harmful new tax policy that was signed into law this summer. Ballot Measures 66 and 67 both gained more than enough citizen petition signatures to appear on the January 26, 2010 special election ballot. These elections could overturn the $733 million tax increase package passed by the legislature and approved by Gov. Ted Kulongoski earlier this year.

Voting “No” on Measure 66 would overturn the personal income tax hike. This hike increases some Oregonians personal income taxes by 2 percent, bringing the top income tax rate up to 11 percent. If left in place, Oregon would be tied with Hawaii for the highest individual income tax rate in the country. And as we’ve documented before, when states have high income tax rates people simply move out of the state. Raising individual rates does not solve state overspending problems; it just forces residents to leave.
A “No” vote for Measure 67 would stop a harmful tax hike on Oregon businesses. At the lowest level, taxes on certain types of corporations face a 1400% increase. Corporate income taxes increase from 6.6% to 7.9%, depending on the business type. Voting against Measure 67 stops these dangerous tax hikes. Worse of all, the tax hikes are based on total sales a business makes, regardless of their profitability. Small businesses in particular are harmed by such a policy; they often can barely cover costs. Profitability for such businesses is already down due to the recession, and adding more costs via higher taxation could force them to lay off workers or close down entirely.
Tax hikes are always harmful; tax hikes during a recession are worse. Oregonians have a chance to prevent further job losses in their state. Lawmakers need to know that taxpayers can not and will not answer for their overspending problem. ATR strongly encourages Oregon voters to vote “No” on Measures 66 and 67.
For more information about this harmful legislation, and what you can do to stop it, click here.