WASHINGTON - (Update: Adding state treasurer remarks)
Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) released the following statement Thursday on the introduction of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:
“For too long, middle-class Oregonians and people across the country have been left behind in an economy stagnated by a dated and broken tax code. The plan released today is the first step toward much-needed tax reform to help Oregon’s small business owners, boost job creation, and stimulate economic growth. I look forward to working with my colleagues to provide a simpler, fairer, and more affordable tax system for hard-working Oregonians and their families.”
- To read the policy highlights in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, please click here.
- To read the full legislative text of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, please click here.
- To read the section-by-section summary of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, please click here.
To read examples of how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will help Americans of all walks of life, please click here.
News release from Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.:
Merkley Blasts GOP’s Corporate Giveaway Tax Plan
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after House Republicans unveiled their tax plan, which attacks the state and local tax deduction while massively slashing the corporate tax rate:
“This may be the greatest heist in American history. Republicans want to tax your income twice in order to pay for corporate breaks. In what world does that make even the slightest bit of sense? Big corporations and the wealthiest Americans are already doing just fine. In fact, corporate America is already sitting on nearly $2 trillion in cash—money they could easily use to create jobs if they wanted to. This plan isn’t an economic strategy; it’s a massive swamp giveaway.
“What if instead of spending massive sums on favors for the privileged and powerful, we invested in ‘We the People’? The trillions contained in this plan could be used to revitalize our crowded public schools; or create debt-free public college for all Americans; or rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. Wouldn’t that be a better use of our national treasury than showering it on the wealthiest Americans?
“It’s up to grassroots America to fight back against this destructive plan. Just as we flooded the phone lines, overflowed the inboxes and filled the streets to defeat the GOP’s diabolical health care plans, we must rise up once more against yet another plan that hurts middle class Americans to pay for huge favors for the wealthy and well-connected.”
News release from Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.:
Wyden Remarks on House Tax Bill
Wyden: Crumbs to the Middle Class to Distract from Multi-Trillion Dollar Giveaways to Corporations
WASHINGTON – Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today delivered the following remarks at a news conference, after Republicans in the House of Representatives released their reconciliation tax bill.
Full remarks as prepared for delivery below:
Right at the outset, let’s be clear on one issue. The sponsors of this bill are working toward one objective.
This bill is about giving enough crumbs to the middle class to distract from the multi-trillion dollar giveaways to corporations that ship jobs overseas and the mega-wealthy.
The overwhelming winners of this Republican tax bill are the people who already have the most power, who can already afford the best advice, and who are already thriving in an economy that’s leaving too many Americans behind.
Second, the final price tag for this Republican bill is still a question mark. And there’s a lot of work still to be done crunching the numbers and figuring out what kind of impact this is going to have on the typical family.
But what’s not going to change is the fact that this plan is massively skewed toward those at the top.
This is the bill you write if you want to build a tax code around a double standard.
The corporate tax breaks in the Republican plan are permanent -- written in ink, set in stone, locked in place with the key thrown away. But families have to settle for temporary tax cuts.
Corporations will still get to deduct their state and local taxes, but individuals and families won’t.
A recent college grad who didn’t come from much and took on tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt will lose their deduction for student loan interest payments. But multi-nationals who ship jobs overseas will still get to deduct their interest payments. That’s what I mean by double standard.
This is an anti-senior bill. A senior who has an expensive health condition -- for example, a rare cancer or a dental problem that requires frequent treatment -- would lose the ability to deduct those medical expenses. But corporate tax breaks for expenses will get even bigger. President Trump didn’t tell seniors in America during this campaign that they would lose the ability to deduct health expenses.
Bottom line, this entire bill is about putting an economic double standard into black letter law.
Oregon Treasurer Tobias Read news release:
State Treasurer Tobias Read today sharply criticized the newly unveiled blueprint for a massive federal tax cut that would largely benefit the super-rich, while putting at risk key projects that benefit working families.
“In this misguided proposal, the super-rich win the most. And regular Oregonians lose,” said State Treasurer Tobias Read, who worries the economy suffers by consolidating more wealth among the super-rich at a time of acute income inequality.
To help finance the proposed tax cuts, the Congressional House Republican plan would limit federal deduction limits connected to state income taxes. An analysis by Bloomberg Economics found that Oregonians would be among the hardest-hit by the tax plan, due to proposed caps on income and property tax deductibility.
The tax cut blueprint also would eliminate access to tax-free bonds that are critical to financing affordable housing projects and other economic development programs to improve the quality of life for every Oregonian. Costs would climb for financing and refinancing infrastructure and public facilities at all levels of government.
The Oregon State Treasury oversees public bonding in the state.
Nonprofit-financed projects for hospitals, cultural, social service, and education facilities would also become less viable.
The Treasurer said problems with the tax-cut blueprint are a stark illustration about the need for an open discussion about improving America’s tax system. “When will Congress learn that complex fiscal policy cannot be crafted behind closed doors, without the involvement of leaders at the state level?”
Also under the plan, governments would lose the ability to refinance tax-exempt debt into less expensive tax-exempt bonds, which would increase pressure on taxpayers. In addition, the proposal limits the ability of state agencies to sell bonds that improve quality of life or facilitate economic development, which would increase interest costs.
The House proposal would functionally eliminate the Oregon Facilities Authority, a successful state agency that helps nonprofits statewide, build vital projects with the help of low-cost, tax-exempt financing.
During the past 27 years, the Authority has helped to facilitate more than $3.7 billion in bonds for projects across the state, including $2 billion for healthcare facilities, $1.3 billion in education facilities and $350 million to improve and expand affordable housing stock. The tax-cut blueprint also would threaten the continued viability of the State’s efforts to increase the supply of new, affordable multi-family housing under the “LIFT” program, which provides gap funding for housing projects around the state.
“All of these projects would need to be done with taxable, higher-interest-rate financing, which makes it far less likely for them to pencil out,” said Laura Lockwood-McCall, the debt division director at the Oregon State Treasury, which oversees issuance of all state bonds.
Treasurer Read will work with the Oregon Congressional delegation as well as treasurer and comptroller counterparts in other states to highlight the need to maintain access to tax-exempt financing, which reduces the cost of infrastructure that benefits the public.