Businessman running away from high taxes

The federal stimulus checks helped a lot of Oregonians out when they needed it. And it is also going to help out Oregon government — about $100 million in federal stimulus payments is going to wind up in the state treasury.

The federal government is not taxing the stimulus payments. In Oregon, they are not taxed as income, either. But the payments can impact the federal tax calculations used on your Oregon income tax. And so the stimulus payment may mean you owe state tax on more of your income and wind up paying more taxes or get a reduced refund.

Does that sound right to you? The stimulus checks sure seemed to be aimed at helping individuals, not helping state government.

U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, a Democrat, wants state lawmakers to pass a bill to eliminate the state tax liability owed by Oregonians on federal stimulus payments. State Sen. Dick Anderson, R-Lincoln City, is already working on such a bill. The idea has at least half a nod from Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek, a Democrat. A spokesperson said Kotek “supports the House Revenue Chair evaluating this issue.”

Tell your legislator what you think.

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