Oregon is in better fiscal shape than the state initially thought

The Office of Economic Analysis released its quarterly revenue forecast on Wednesday morning. It found that the state will get $1.96 billion in revenue this quarter than previously expected.

Governor Tina Kotek reacted warmly to the news and said the state should use it to fund her legislative priorities.

“Oregonians have clear expectations for legislators to address our housing crisis, ensure that our behavioral health system is accessible in every part of the state, and set up our youngest students for success,” Governor Kotek said in a press release. “The revenue forecast lays the path for bold leadership. We cannot afford to squander this opportunity, and I look forward to a continued partnership with legislative leaders to deliver results for all regions of the state.”

Of this newly-protected revenue, Kotek wants to spend $316 million on homelessness prevention, $1 billion to build and preserve more affordable housing, $280 million on behavioral health, and $120 million on early literacy programs, according to the release.

Meanwhile, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) wants Oregon to cut taxes instead.

“Now is the time act on estate tax and CAT relief – and the conversation shouldn’t be ‘if’ we help our small businesses retain and reinvest more of the money they earn, but ‘how much,'” Anthony Smith, Oregon state director for NFIB, said in a press release.

By CAT, Smith means the Corporate Activity Tax.

Smith added that inflation has increased the state's tax burden, resulting in a need to lower taxes.

“The vast majority of Oregon’s taxes are not adjusted to inflation and rise along with prices, Smith said in the release. "With demand outstripping supply, businesses and consumers are paying premiums for their needs. This has translated into a wide range of taxable business and labor income, which has moved many filers into higher tax brackets."

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