Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Capital Gains Bills in Senate Revenue Committee

Last Wednesday, the Senate House Committee heard testimony on Senate Bills (SB) 8, 883, and 714. Each of these bills proposes a reduction on Oregon's capital gains tax. SB 8, introduced by Senate President Peter Courtney, will reduced the tax, but does not give a specific rate in the text of the bill. Bills 883 and 714 will introduce a progressive tax on capital gains, however, SB 883 has a sunset provision that will allow the bill to only be effective until 2013.

A capital gains tax reduction is imperative. The state of Oregon currently has a capital gains tax rate of 11%, tied for highest in the nation with Hawaii. Due to this high tax rate, Oregon stands to lose business to neighboring states that either charge a lower rate, or have no capital gains tax at all (such as Washington). Not only does this mean lost jobs for Oregonians, but also lost revenue for the state.

In Wednesday’s Senate Revenue Committee hearing, a number of people turned out to support these proposed reductions, including Senator Olsen, Senator Atkinson, and Senator Read. Senator Atkinson discussed specific cases he witnessed in which business associates decided to move to Washington to avoid capital gains taxes. Oregon business representatives also turned out to argue for these important bills, stressing competition with Washington, and a loss of angel investments due to these taxes.

It is important that capital gains taxes in the state of Oregon are reduced. To save jobs and our economy, please contact your senator and ask them to support these important bills.

Bill Perry
Vice President of Government Affairs

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