Guest Column

Wouldn’t it be great if our government officials had to take the political equivalent of the medical doctor’s Hippocratic oath: “First, do no harm?” If they did, we would not see the growing interest among state political leaders in eliminating the home mortgage interest deduction. This is a tax deduction available to every single homeowner and potential homeowner in the state of Oregon, regardless of demographics. At a time when many Oregonians are just scraping to get by, and with tougher times ahead, it’s foolish of our state leaders to consider eliminating a tax benefit available to all working-class Oregonians.

Yet, that’s exactly what’s being considered — from the secretary of state, to the governor, to the Legislature — in a partisan effort to capture another $1.1 billion each biennium in taxes from Oregonians. It’s a thinly disguised scheme to capture and transfer money from homeowners to the government, predicated on the disputable argument that government agencies can and will use it effectively for burgeoning social programs. Before this idea gains too much steam, let’s inject a little common sense into the discussion.

Sign up for our Daily Headlines newsletter

Michael Sipe is a local business consultant and a Republican candidate for Oregon House District 53, which includes the northern portion of Bend, Tumalo, Sisters, Black Butte and southwest Redmond. He lives in Tumalo.

(4) comments


The problem here is the timing or lack of timing. The impact of removing the MID will affect many, many people for whom the deduction is a part of their financial planning. Abruptly eliminating the MID can cause serious household budget issues. If the MID is to be eliminated, the best way to do that is by phasing it in over, say, a 10-year period: allow 90% the 1st year, 80% the 2nd, and so on. By doing that, families can better adapt to losing the deduction.

Transitory Inflation

This analysis is terrible. As an owner of two mortgages in Oregon, I wouldn't mind keeping the deduction. But if this is the argument for keeping it, I will have to assume its days are numbered.


Wow this would be awesome! We know the MID benefits the wealthiest homeowners the most, truly one of the most regressive taxes that exist. Instead of needing a new tax to pay for maintaining our city infrastructure all we need to do is remove a subsidy for the wealthiest of us? The MID also pushes home prices up and incentivizes building larger more expensive homes. Anybody who truly stands for affordable housing and market based economics will end the MID. Let's not stand for this 'free market until I get thr subsidy' rhetoric.

Transitory Inflation

Also, higher taxes at the top, on those with the highest propensity to consume on the margin, also slows inflation. So instead of using the monetary policy wrecking ball to drive unemployment up to 6%, you can slow inflation by removing tax deductions at the top. Something we've known for at least 100 years, but our politics has not been able to deliver since late 1940s.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.