Friday, April 30, 2010

Oregon's Soak-the-Poor Tax Policy

Posted By on Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 6:58 PM

Should a family living below the poverty level have to pay state income tax? Most states say no - but Oregon says yes.

According to a report released yesterday by the Washington-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the income tax in this state for a family of four kicks in at $19,800. That's $2,180 below the federal poverty line for a family of that size.

"A two-parent family of four living at the poverty line with just $21,947 in income had to pay $200 in Oregon income taxes in 2009, the fifth-highest amount among states for a family of four at that income level," a news release from the Oregon Center for Public Policy said. A "nearly poor" family of the same size with an annual income of 125% of the poverty level - $27,434 - would owe $764, the fourth-highest amount in the nation.

Those amounts might not seem huge, but for a low-income family they could mean the difference between paying the rent or being evicted, or between paying the utility bill and having the power turned off.

Only 13 of the 50 states levy income taxes on families living at the poverty level, the OCPP said. Nine Eight states have no personal income tax.

"The bottom line," said Joy Margheim, an analyst for the OCPP, "is that Oregon not only sets the level for having to start paying income taxes much lower than most other states, but it also imposes one of the heftier income tax bills on low-income families once they rise above that income level."

Margheim said the report underlines the need for a "robust improvement" in Oregon's Earned Income Tax Credit, a refundable income tax credit for low-income people who work: "A boost to the state's EITC is the most efficient and targeted way for Oregon to raise the income tax threshold and end the practice of taxing the work effort of working poor families."

A coalition called Oregonians for Working Families, including more than 95 health and human service organizations, labor groups, businesses and local governments, plans to "push for a significant increase in the state EITC" next year, the OCPP said.

Pin It

Comments (12)

Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

Source Weekly Newsletter

More by The Source Staff

  • Your Guide To A Healthy Winter

    Your Guide To A Healthy Winter

    Whereas a mountain biker opts inside to get some spins
    • Jan 16, 2019
  • Signs of Progress

    Signs of Progress

    In housing, runway reconstruction and other areas, Redmond continues its rapid expansion
    • Jan 2, 2019
  • Our Own Airing of Grievances

    Our Own Airing of Grievances

    We witness a lot of minor calamities here at the Source. Once a year, we have to call you out about it
    • Dec 26, 2018
  • More »

Latest in The Wandering Eye

  • Moonshine Magic in Bend Still on the Down Low

    • Aug 9, 2012
    Get ready for our great close-up on the home distilling community out next week in our "Best of" issue. We interviewed a mixed bag of legal and anarchist distillers in Bend to find out why distilling is so very, very against the law in one's home. More »
  • The Eye Wanders Off Into the Sunset

    • Dec 26, 2010
    I’m really sorry to break the bad news to them during this season of peace and goodwill, but after this week the right-wingers in Bend and vicinity won’t have The Wandering Eye to kick around anymore. The decision to stop writing this blog was my own, and it was prompted by several factors. More »
  • DADT, Gay-Bashing and the "Icky-ness" Factor

    • Dec 19, 2010
    For the past week or so, “Zeo” of the NW Republican blog has had his jock strap in a knot over the prospect of Congress repealing the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” rule. To hear Zeo tell it, if DADT is repealed and gays are allowed to serve openly in the US military it will mean the end not only of our armed forces but of America, its economic system and civilization in general. More »
  • More »

© 2019 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation