(SALEM, OR)- In a House floor speech, Freshman Representative David Gomberg called for enhanced measures to collect revenue due to the State of Oregon. “Responsible taxpayers need to be confident that everyone is paying their fair share,” said Gomberg.
Over the past six weeks, senior members of both parties have debated cutting pensions or increasing taxes to balance the state budget. Gomberg asserted that “fair share” should be a third part of the discussion. He gave several examples.
The Department of Revenue reports over $600 million in delinquent accounts. This reflects people who have filed tax returns but have not sent payments. The amount approximates the difference between what has been proposed for education funding and what has been requested by school districts. The Department of Revenue reports that delinquent accounts, unfiled returns and unreported income total over $1.3 billion per year.
The State Treasurer has filed 12 lawsuits against Wall Street firms alleging that Oregon was defrauded of over $150 million in pension returns. That amount, with interest, approximates much of the amount proposed to be withdrawn from PERS.
The Department of Energy is re-examining $30 million in tax credits to the Shepherd’s Flat Wind Farm in Eastern Oregon and has consulted the Department of Justice. The New York based developer had subdivided in order to triple credit receipts. The amount approximates the amount requested for capital construction for the entire Oregon Community College system. Gomberg argued that large tax credits should be audited for goals and performance in the way state agencies are.
In a remonstrance unusual for a freshman legislator, Gomberg called for bi-partisan support of efforts to collect revenue due. “I am hesitant to underfund education, cut critical programs, reduce hard earned pensions or increase taxes for any Oregonians while there is still money on the table.”
David Gomberg represents the Central Oregon Coast and Coastal Range in House District 10. He is a small business owner, operating a wholesale kite business and kites stores in Lincoln City and Seaside.
We’ve been hearing more and more about how fantastic Wall Street is doing and how corporate profits are blowing through the roof – while America’s middle class and those below are in the worst shape since World War II. Something structural has changed. What used to hold up the country’s economic floor has seriously deteriorated implying that Americans will have to do with a lot less – and that’s just how it is.
There was an article in the Bend Bulletin this week that sought to break the issue down to a level most of us can understand. Click here.
TAX CREDITS FOR WORKING FAMILIES COULD BE WORTH THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS
“As working families in Oregon start to prepare their tax returns this year, they need to know they may be eligible for federal and state tax credits worth thousands of dollars,” said Nina Roll, Director of Family Care Connection’s Child Care Resource & Referral program at Oregon State University Extension Service. “Families are facing incredible economic pressures, and can’t afford to leave this money on the table.”
Federal and state tax credits can help offset the cost of child care and other expenses for working families. For 2012, families may be eligible for a number of federal tax credits, including:
Earned Income Tax Credit, which helps provide a wage supplement for low and moderate-income families (those earning less than $50,270 annually). This credit is worth up to $5,891, and is refundable.
Child Tax Credit, designed to help families meet some of the costs of raising children. This credit is worth up to $1,000 per child. Families who owe little or no income tax can receive some or all of this credit as a refund if they earned at least $3,000 in 2012.
Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, designed to offset some of the child or dependent care costs that families incur in order to work. This credit is worth up to $2,100, though the amount that can be claimed is limited by a family’s federal income tax liability.
For 2012, Oregon tax credits can help you with:
Up to $1,800 from the Oregon Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit.
Up to 40% of your qualifying child care expenses without limit from the Working Family Child Care Tax Credit.
Up to $353 from the Oregon Earned Income Tax Credit.
“These credits can help families in Oregon make ends meet, but they must file a tax return to claim the credits,” Roll said. “Our goal is to help more families learn about the benefits of these tax credits, so they don’t miss out.”
Visit www.cashoregon.org/taxprep/sites.htm to find out where you can get FREE help with your taxes. You can also contact the AARP Foundation’s Tax Aide Program toll-free at 888-227-7669 or use the online locator at www.aarp.org/applications/VMISLocator/searchTaxAideLocations.action
Reflecting a well documented national trend over the past ten years, Oregon’s wealthiest 1% have gotten just about all the income gains since the economy began “recovering” in 2010. It’s in the latest report by the Oregon Center for Public Policy. The OCPP also points to a pending state ballot measure that would allow Oregon’s rich elite to pass on even more of what they accumulated during their lives to their children, which many contend is partly what causes a concentration of wealth in a few hands, in the first place. For more, click here.
As Americans continue to be badly divided over what is responsible for the country’s four year stalled economy, there are those who have stuck to one basic point of analysis that is confirmed by the IRS and the Congressional Budget Office; that the top 1% of taxpayers own or control nearly half the country’s wealth which is being invested in foreign markets to create job opportunities there, rather than in the U.S.
As they have for the past few years, MoveOn, Service Employees International Union and Coastal Progressives are holding a Tax Fairness Protest Tuesday in front of Newport City Hall calling for a return to higher tax rates on the wealthy and American corporations. The groups say many among the rich and their corporations not only pay no taxes, but actually get huge tax-incentive checks from the U.S. Treasury. These and other common themes of tax and social justice will no doubt be among talking points as protesters wave their signs in front of Newport City Hall in support for a big change in the way our government is funded, who pays and for what services.
Those with similar opinions or philosophical inclinations are invited to join with MoveOn, SEIU and CP in front of Newport City Hall, Tuesday, 4-6pm.
A number of voter petitions are making the rounds of the state, gathering signatures aimed at getting them on the November ballot. The top signature gathering has been associated with, (what else), expanding the acceptability and legality of marijuana use. Another petition that is getting closer to having enough signatures is a one that would bar the state from raising fees on real estate transfers – a lucrative source of new revenue used widely in other states. The story is in today’s Oregonian. Click here.