Earlier this year, policymakers in Oregon enacted both temporary
and permanent changes in the state’s tax system to help close an
enormous budget gap and, by extension, provide funding for vital
services like education, health care, and public safety... Yet, due to quirks
in Oregon’s legislative process, opponents of these changes have an
opportunity to put them before the voters for approval via referendum.
Not surprisingly, representatives of big business and a who’s who of
anti-tax organizations are attempting to take full advantage of that
Oregon became the latest state to address the current fiscal crisis with progressive revenue increases. This is part of a welcome trend that we highlighted back in April
of states recognizing that budget cuts need to be balanced with
wealthier state residents being asked to pay their fair share to
address the effects of the economic downturn.
Because it lacks a state income tax, Washington State creates one of
the highest tax burdens on poorer families, but some relief is being
proposed, as the Washington State Budget & Policy Center outlines in this policy brief, in
the form of a Working Families Credit which would give 350,000
Washington residents the equivalent of 10% of their federal Earned
Income Tax Credit (EITC) refund.
It's now ten years since the 1996 welfare law promised to end "welfare
as we know it." That goal may have been accomplished, but the results
have been decidedly mixed, both for poor families and for state
lawmakers coping with changing federal mandates.