By Taxpayer Association of Oregon
The Oregon State Capitol Legislative Session officially ended after a whirlwind weekend. Here is a list of some of the bills that passed:
Tobacco, vaping and cigar tax increase: Hb 2270 which raises $350 million in higher taxes on tobacco, vaping e-cigarette products and cigar tax rates. The tax on tobacco is about $2.00 more per pack.
Paid Family Leave Tax passes: HB 2005 which creates a new tax up to 1% to fund an insurance for paid family leave and paid medical leave for employees.
Handicapping voters use of electronic downloadable petitions: SB 761 makes it immensely more difficult for voters to download and print single-signer petitions from their own home, something that has been practiced without complaint or criticism for nearly 10 years.
Curbing Single family zoning bill: House Bill 2001 rolls back traditional exclusive single-family zoning by allowing increased multi-housing zoning. This applies for cities with populations above 10,000.
Postage paid ballots: Senate Bill 861 pays the postage for election ballots. It will cost taxpayers an estimated $1.7 million per election.
Politicizing the $2.6 billion business sales tax referendum election date: Senate Bill 116 allowed the politicians to pick the election date in case the $2.6 billion business sales tax repeal petition qualifies for the ballot. It sets the date for a special election in January 2020 rather than the general election next year (where more people show up because the politicians apparently don’t want people showing up for this tax repeal).
Reversing voter decision on undocumented drivers: House Bill 2015 approves the state giving driver’s license to undocumented immigrants despite this measure being rejected by voters in 2014 by huge margins. An emergency clause was added to the measure which blocked the voters from exercising their right to petition this decision by requesting a public vote.
Make the death penalty harder to get: Senate Bill 1013 limits the death penalty to only crimes of terrorism or if you kill at least two people. Exception made for the killing law enforcement officers or the death of a child.
Increased labeling for political advertisements: House Bill 2716 requires campaign advertisements to include names of organization donors.
Constitutional change by allowing bans of free speech and limits on participation in campaigns through donation limits: Senate Joint Resolution 18 is a referral to voters to change constitution to curb free speech by allowing limits on people’s political participation through donations.
911 tax increase: HB 2449-B is a 50-cent increase in the emergency communications tax on our phones bringing the total to $1.25 per month.
Diesel engine phase out: HB 2007 requires by 2029 all medium and heavy duty trucks to be updated to 2010 engine types.
Cage-free egg mandate: SB 1019 requires the Department of Agriculture to make Oregon cage-free for raising hens for larger hen operations.
Education savings tax credit and expands earned income tax credit: HB 2164 creates the nation’s first refundable tax credit to assist Oregon families to make early investments for their educational plans. HB 2164 also increases Oregon’s earned income tax credit.
Budget notes: The political tax credit was extended, Higher education got a $100 million boost, and more funds to hire more state troopers and funds to hire 347 more foster care workers. Also $2 million for the Innovation Law Lab to help legal aid for immigrants.