Review of pending bills

Capital gains tax
Oregon has one of the highest capital gains taxes in the nation. There are a few bills in the 2011 Legislature that would reduce these taxes. The issue is cut capital gains taxes is shared by many sides in the State capitol. Governor Kitzhaber has proposed cutting $25 million from capital gains taxes. House Republican Leader Kevin Cameron, himself a small businessman, has proposed a 50% reduction.

Having high capital gains taxes makes Oregon uncompetitive with the rest of the nation and the world. It is often overlooked that many parts of the world do not rely on capital gains taxes. Some nations do not have capital gains taxes (Austria, Belgium, Germany, Mexico, New Zealand, Portugal, Turkey). Other nations exempt capital gains taxes on stocks (China, Hong Kong, Israel, Mexico, Philippines, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand). The Heritage Foundation states that “Cutting capital gains tax rates is the single best tax policy to improve economic growth.” Cutting capital gains taxes is a tool hat Oregon needs to have a debate on.

Health warning on cell phones
There is a bill in the Oregon Legislature that seeks to put health warning stickers on cellular phones. Without necessity, nor evidence, this phone health warning legislation amounts to an unscientific, burdensome over regulation that is counter to Oregon’s successful heritage of working with technology businesses in creating a vibrant technology sector. Sounding a false health alarm does not improve public health and adding on state specific regulations on a national product does not happen without others expending time, money and treasure for a reason that is uncertain. If Oregon is serious about leaving the door open to job creation it must do more than just advertise that it has opened its door to jobs it must also remove the small chain locks, door stoppers and floor mats that read “unwelcome” as well. Small regulations add up to a big headache.

Measure 66/67
These measures helped increase taxes on every business in Oregon. Revenue results show that the expected revenue from these taxes are far below projection. This likely means our recession is worse than economist predicted and impact of Measure 66/67 is worse than economist predicted. Both factors seem to compound each other at a time when business find it difficult to survive. State Representative Kim Thatcher has introduced a bill that would repeal both Measure 66 and 67.

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