While backers of President Bush’s tax cut proposal point to the average tax cut, new data released today by the Oregon Center for Public Policy shows that the typical Oregonian will get much less, and 23 percent of Oregonians will get nothing. One percent of Oregonians will reap about 40 percent of the tax cut’s benefits.
“The President proposes a windfall for a very few while at the same time cutting health care for the uninsured and child care for working families,” said Jeff Thompson, policy analyst and economist with the OCPP. “As our economy slows, the typical Oregonian needs help today, with a refundable child tax credit, an expanded Earned Income Credit, or a prosperity bonus. Trickle down from the wealthiest is not likely.”
The figures released today and prepared by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) for the Oregon Center for Public Policy, show that the wealthiest one percent of Oregonians, with annual incomes averaging $951,000, will receive 39.8 percent of the tax cut. The poorest 20 percent of Oregonians will receive less than two percent of the total tax cut while the top 20 percent of Oregonians will receive about 60 percent of the President’s proposed tax cut.
The figures indicate:
- Oregon taxpayers exactly at the middle of the income distribution would receive a tax cut of about $600 when the Bush plan is fully implemented. Nearly all ($590) of this amount is from reductions in the personal income tax.
- The difference between the “average” tax cut (the total tax cut divided by the total number of taxpayers) and the tax cut going to the “typical taxpayer” (the tax cut going to the taxpayer exactly in the middle of the income distribution, or the “median tax cut”) is substantial. The average tax cut is $940, more than one and one-half times the median tax cut of $600 that the typical taxpayer will receive. Oregon’s average tax cut is 21.8% percent lower than the national average ($1,202). Oregon’s median tax cut is 8.7% percent higher than the national median ($552).
- The wealthiest one percent of Oregon taxpayers, with incomes averaging $951,000, will receive a tax cut of $37,799, which is greater than Oregonians’ median income ($35,300). The wealthiest one percent will receive an average tax cut that is over 500 times the size of the tax cut for the poorest 20 percent, and 44 times the size of the average tax cut of middle income Oregonians.
- The distribution of benefits from the repeal of the estate tax and the very limited corporate tax relief in the Bush package are particularly skewed. The top one percent of Oregon taxpayers will receive over 85 percent of the benefits from the estate and corporate tax provisions while the bottom 80 percent of Oregonians will receive just over four percent of the estate and corporate tax cut provisions.
Thompson noted that “over the next ten years, the portion of the President’s tax cut that goes to the nation’s wealthiest one percent will exceed the combined cost of all of the new discretionary spending initiatives – education, a Medicare prescription drug benefit, as well as additional defense spending – proposed in the President’s spending plan.”
“Most Oregonians did not reap the benefits of the economic prosperity of the 1990s and they will get precious little from the Bush tax plan,” said Thompson. “The Bush tax plan is a feast for the comfortable and crumbs for the struggling,” said Thompson.
The Oregon Center for Public Policy is a non-profit research organization that analyzes budget, tax, and program issues important to low- and moderate-income Oregonians, the majority of Oregonians.