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Follow Trump’s lead or fight for Oregon’s schools? A true test for Oregon lawmakers

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There are two undeniable features of the Trump tax plan. It’s hugely expensive, exploding the national deficit. And it benefits the rich and corporations far more than anyone else.

Oregon could soon get smacked by that one-two punch of irresponsibility and injustice. Oregon connects to the federal tax code in a way that makes portions of federal tax law applicable here — unless the Oregon legislature chooses otherwise.

One of the many giveaways to the rich in the Trump tax plan is the tax break on pass-through income. This is a tax break mainly for rich business owners, giving not a dime to those who make a living from a paycheck.

The table below shows the budget-busting nature of this provision. Failing to disconnect from the federal pass-through tax deduction costs $258 million in the current budget period, already under way. Looking at the next complete budget period, the price tag explodes to $405 million, enough to pay for over 2,300 teachers.

The tax break is blatantly skewed to the top. The chart below shows the distribution of the tax benefit to Oregonians on their federal taxes, a pretty clear indication of which Oregonians will benefit from the Oregon application of the same tax provision. The richest 5 percent of Oregonians capture 69 percent of the benefits, while the bottom 80 percent are left with a meager 7 percent.

There is a bill, SB 1528A, presently before the Oregon legislature that would protect Oregonians by cutting ties to this piece of the Trump tax scheme.

The bill is a true test of where Oregon lawmakers and the Governor stand.

Contact your elected representatives and ask them, “Are you sticking with the Trump tax scheme? Or do you stand with Oregon’s children, teachers, and working families?”

You can find your legislators here.