The reason Oregonians can put their absolute trust in state government is because our elected leaders would never do something unfair with taxes.
For instance, legislators would never ever tax a business that wasn’t profitable.
Gov. Kate Brown would never ever take away tax rebates that voters themselves approved at the ballot box.
And legislators would never ever try to sneak new taxes by Oregonians and avoid constitutional requirements to pass taxes or requirements governing how tax dollars must be spent.
But then this legislative session, state government seems on track to do all three. A shifty, scheming trifecta of taxation.
House Bill 3427, passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Brown, may raise revenue for a good cause — education — but it could tax businesses even if they are not making a profit.
Brown has proposed slashing the voter-approved kicker tax rebate that would return taxes paid to Oregonians.
And as Willamette Week reported on Tuesday, a legislative counsel’s opinion raises serious questions about how the carbon-reduction bill, House Bill 2020, could be passed and how revenue could be spent. The bill functions like a tax, the opinion says. Shouldn’t that mean it requires a three-fifths majority per the state constitution? Other issues raised in the opinion question whether Oregon law would allow the proposed investments in the bill in energy efficiency and alternative energy.
But don’t worry. The Democratic leadership in control of the state would never let anything questionable happen with taxes.