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Democrats Hammer Out Tax Agreement

OPB | June 11, 2009 5:52 a.m. | Updated: July 17, 2012 1:10 a.m. | Salem, OR

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By Chris Lehman

The train is back on the rails.  After hammering out an agreement, Democrats in the Oregon Senate have approved two tax increases.  

The $733 million package is a central part of majority Democrats' plan to balance the state's budget.  Wednesday the measures failed when one Democrat sided with Republicans in voting "no".  Salem correspondent Chris Lehman reports.


That failure of the tax package was a stunning setback for Democratic leadership.  But it was only temporary.

Less than 24 hours later, Senator Mark Hass changed his vote from No to Yes.

He originally said he wanted the corporate taxes to expire after the current recession is over.  Now he says he’s agreed to a plan that will divert a portion of corporate taxes to the state’s Rainy Day Fund after four years.

Mark Hass:  “Without these bills the education budgets that concern me greatly would crash on the rocks, and I would never let that happen.”

The other tax increase targets wealthy taxpayers.  That too won final approval.

It’s also likely to be the target of a signature gathering campaign by anti-tax groups to force the measure onto the ballot.

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