When You Think About Oregon’s 42%, Think “Worker”

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When You Think About Oregon’s 42%, Think “Worker”

InsideCapitolDome
Some (not me) like to divide the country into "makers" and "takers," portraying those who don't pay federal income taxes as the latter.

When You Think About Oregon’s 42%, Think “Worker”

Some (not me) like to divide the country into “makers” and “takers,” portraying those who don’t pay federal income taxes as the latter.

But they’re wrong.

As the following chart based on data from our colleagues at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows, most Oregonians not paying federal income taxes work for a paycheck.

20121003_Oregons_Owing_No_Fed (1)

In 2010, workers were the largest category of people who comprised the 42 percent of Oregon households who paid no federal income tax that year. Although these workers have low paying jobs, they do pay federal payroll and excise taxes, on top of state and local taxes.

This is only a one-year snapshot and many have paid federal income taxes in the past or will pay in the future. Analysts point to the Great Recession and sluggish economy to note that the percent of Americans not paying federal income taxes is higher than normal. And they note that tax policies enacted by Republicans and Democrats alike have rightly reduced or eliminated federal income tax liability for the lowest income workers, especially those with children.

Among the rest of the 42 percent are folks who have worked, will work or would like to find work: the retired, students and unemployed workers.

So when you think of about Oregon’s 42 percent, think “worker.”

 


This blog post was originally posted on www.blueoregon.com on October 3, 2012. The original post can be found at http://www.blueoregon.com/2012/10/oregons-42-percent-think-worker/.

 

 

More about: eitcpersonal income tax

Charles Sheketoff

Charles Sheketoff

Chuck Sheketoff is a founder of the Oregon Center for Public Policy and former Executive Director. Incorporated in 1995, the Center was launched with Chuck as its first executive director after Chuck received the "public interest pioneer award" from the Stern Family Fund in September, 1997. Prior to starting the Center, Chuck lobbied the Oregon legislature on tax policies and on human services programs' policies and budgets on behalf of legal aid clients (1992 to 1996) and the low-income clients of the Oregon Law Center (1997).

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