Poll: What Oregonians want for 2019


In a large statewide straw poll of 400 Oregon taxpayers, Oregonians were asked to identify the issues they were most concerned about going in to the 2018 elections. With a potentially competitive Governor’s race and control of the Legislature at stake, voters expressed deep concern about the fiscal management of the State. Continue reading

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Oregon paychecks losing ground

By Taxpayer Association of Oregon Foundation,

Oregon’s income growth is lagging the nation and cannot keep pace with inflation.

According to data released by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis last month, U.S. income growth per person grew by 2.4 percent. In contrast, personal income per person in Oregon increased by only 1.9 percent. To make matters worse, Oregonians faced inflation of 4.2 percent, driven largely by rising housing prices. Put another way, Oregon’s cost of living is growing more than twice as fast as Oregonians’ incomes. Continue reading

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IRS audits at 15-yera low


IRS audits at 15 year low.
By Taxpayer Foundation of Oregon,

For the sixth straight year IRS tax audits have been declining and have set a new 15 low in 2017 according to the Wall Street Journal. The year, 2010 was their peak, and since then they have lost a third of their enforcement staff.

As the above chart shows, the higher income have seen the biggest decline in percentage of returns audited.

Since 2010, IRS funding is down 8% while tax returns have grown 5%.

You can read more about the decline in IRS tax audits here.

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Oregon population rate growth declines


By Taxpayer Foundation of Oregon,

The most recent population estimates from the Census Bureau show that Portland’s population growth has slowed to the lowest level in years. Continue reading

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President interested in Oregon’s mile-tax

Taxpayer Association of Oregon Foundation

The State recently gained an ally in President Trump, who cited Oregon’s per mile charge as an innovative way to achieve revenues needed to realize his plans for updating and improving the country’s infrastructure. Trump’s plan seeks to mix federal funding with State and local contributions as well as investments from the private sector. Continue reading

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Oregon 5th highest cost of living!

By Taxpayer Association of Oregon Foundation,

Housing is the single biggest factor driving the cost-of-living. Recent research finds Portland, Oregon is one of the most “severely unaffordable” major housing markets in the world — ranking 67th. Because of the high cost of housing, Oregon has the fifth highest cost-of-living in the U.S.

The reason for Portland’s unaffordability: Too many people chasing too few units. The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis estimates, relative to population growth, Portland has underbuilt housing by more than 15,000 units.

The reason for too few units: Public policies that discourage housing construction. The new study finds that city with more restrictive land use regulations also have some of the worse housing affordability. Portland is one of the more restrictive cities.

In addition to land use regulations, Portland has adopted several policies to address housing affordability have in fact made things worse.

The worst of these new policies is an “inclusionary zoning” ordinance mandating that a significant portion of new apartment projects be set aside for low-income tenants to rent a below market rates.

In response, developers have shied away from Portland. Permit applications for multi-unit projects have dropped significantly in the year the inclusionary housing mandates went into effect: “We’ve seen the spigot turned off so completely, so fast,” says Kurt Schultz, a principal at SERA Architects, who notes in the Portland Mercury that his clients who’ve worked with similar policies in other cities often blanch when told of Portland’s strict rules. “I’ve never seen it turned off so fast before, and I’ve been doing this for 30 years.”

Portland’s mayor has promised to review the city’s regulations, but has not provided an indication of how the policy will change. In the meantime, Portland resident can expect housing affordability to worsen over the foreseeable future.

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Tax Reform bonuses continue to flow


By Taxpayer Association of Oregon Foundation,

The landmark tax reform bill passed by Congress has already started reaping benefits even before it’s provisions take effect. The bill, which will reduce taxes for 80 percent of Americans and dramatically lowered tax rates for Corporations and other businesses, became effective January 1, 2018. Here are some of the benefits already announced based on the tax cuts: Continue reading

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