Lost in the tax wrangle going on now in Salem is a startling fact: Lawmakers give away more in tax breaks than all the governments in the state collect. Here’s an explanation from the Legislative Revenue Office’s 2009 Tax Expenditure Report:
“For the 2009-11 biennium, total tax expenditures will result in the ‘spending’ of about $30.9 billion through Oregon’s tax code. Over the same period, the state of Oregon and local taxing districts will collect roughly $26.2 billion in taxes,” the report says. “Governments in Oregon ‘spend’ more through special provisions in the tax code than they do through direct outlays.”In other words, killing just 12 percent of the tax breaks would generate the $3.7 billion Oregon needs to balance its budget.
Read the full story at Willamette Week.