A new analysis of the temporary income tax increase on the January 28, 2003, ballot shows that the typical Oregonian over age 65 will not have increased taxes as a result of the measure. The study by the Oregon Center for Public Policy shows that, while the average elderly taxpayer will pay $83, or less than $7 a month, over the three years the measure is in effect, at least half of the elderly taxpayers will see no increase in taxes as a result of the measure.
“The typical elderly Oregonian has nothing to lose and everything to gain by voting for Measure 28,” said Charles Sheketoff, executive director of the public policy research institute.
Download the full report (PDF).
Sheketoff noted that in the fifth special session the Legislature adopted $310 million in budget cuts that will go into effect if Measure 28 does not pass. The cuts were included in House Bill 5100. The Legislature tied across-the-board cuts in services, including cuts to senior services, to the success of the measure.
“At least half of elderly taxpayers can vote for the measure, preserving vital services, and not pay any additional taxes,” said Sheketoff. “In other words, at least half of elderly taxpayers get something for nothing out of Measure 28.”
The average tax is higher than the tax that will be paid by the typical elderly Oregonian because the average is skewed by the high incomes of relatively few elderly Oregonians. “The typical elderly Oregonian earns significantly less than the wealthiest elderly Oregonians and pays less in taxes each year,” said Sheketoff.
Some of the tax increase will be offset by reduced federal taxes. Taxpayers that itemize will be able to deduct their increased tax liability when calculating their federal income taxes. This deduction will offset about 25% of the additional state tax.
The Oregon Center for Public Policy is a non-profit, non-partisan research institute that addresses budget, tax and other issues important to low and moderate income Oregonians, the majority of Oregonians.