Oregon reluctantly cuts top tax rates

On January 1, the top income earners in Oregon will be getting a tax cut… kinda. But that’s only if you don’t pay attention to what the tax rate was before the “temporary” hike. Even the best weight loss pill obtains better results than this.

But here’s the details.

Back in 2009, before Measure 66 took effect, the top individual income tax rate in Oregon was an already-hefty nine percent. Measure 66 allowed a “temporary” rate hike to 10.8 and eleven percent on individuals with incomes over $125,000, and married couples filing jointly with incomes over $250,000.

Occupy Portland would call those families “the top 1 percent.”

People who know better call them, “small business owners” and “employers.”

On January first, that “temporary” tax rate hike gets rolled back… to 9.9 percent. That’s still nearly a full percent higher than the original top marginal rate of nine percent. So, in essence, Oregon’s top income earners aren’t getting a tax cut, so much as a reduction in the amount of the tax hike enacted upon them under Measure 66.

Already, Salem politicians are scheming to invent ways to get those 10.8 and 11 percent rates back, failing to acknowledge that 9.9 is still more than the original rate.

Yet this punitive tax-rate attack on employers and job creators comes at a poor moment. The unemployment rate (as currently calculated) has dropped to 9.1 percent, the lowest rate since the Obama Administration came to power, but that rate fails to take into account those workers who have been out of work so long, they no longer qualify for unemployment benefits, or who have given up looking for jobs entirely because there are so few to be found.

According to some sources, the “actual” unemployment rate could be as high as 14 percent or more, and even higher among recent college graduates.

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