Oregon revenue projections up $696 million since December

Revenue projects are up in Oregon.The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis released its updated revenue forecast this week. It said that since December 2022, combined revenues for the 2021 to 2023 and 2023 to 2025 budget cycles have increased by $696 million.The Oregon legislature uses data from this office to aid in its decision-making on fiscal issues.Anthony Smith, Oregon state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, said the forecast means Oregon lawmakers should cut taxes.“State revenues are up again,” Smith said in an NFIB press release, “and now that legislators have several hundred million dollars to work with for the state’s next budget, now is the time to provide tax relief for Oregon’s small businesses that are still facing a variety of economic challenges, including supply-chain issues, inflation, and a very tight labor market.”Smith said he wants to see cuts made to the estate tax and the Corporate Activity Tax.“The Corporate Activity Tax (CAT) and Oregon’s estate tax (death tax) are two tax policies in need of some practical revisions,” Smith said. “Thankfully, both the House and the Senate have already held public hearings on several bills that would make a big difference for Oregon’s small businesses without substantially impacting the state’s overall fiscal outlook.”NFIB wants to raise the CAT filing and exemption thresholds. The state taxes businesses with sales in Oregon of at least $1 million, regardless of whether or not they show a profit. Additionally, NFIB wants to raise the estate tax exemption threshold, which is currently $1 million in Oregon. Although the state is bringing in more revenue than previously expected, Governor Tina Kotek's response to the news did not mention support for tax cuts. “As inflation continues to slow, this revenue forecast shows that we can anticipate having more predictability and stability for the coming budget cycle," Kotek said in a press release issued by her office. "While this is encouraging news, the legislature still has some tough choices to make. We will have to keep focused and stay the course in order to make much-needed investments in Oregonians’ most urgent shared priorities: housing and homelessness, behavioral health and education.”

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