Oregon Legislative Update: May Primary Election Looms Large

Oregon’s Primary Election

Last week was the deadline for voter registration in Oregon’s primary election, and according to the Secretary of State’s office, the total number of voters registered in Oregon has gone down by 4,000 in the last two years. Democrats have 44,000 fewer registered than two years ago, while Republicans are up 800.

However, the total number of registered Democrats in the state still outnumbers Republicans. In the last two years, there have also been 40,000 voters who registered with a minor party or as an independent. The primary election day is Tuesday, May 15.

Here is the remaining schedule:

  • April 27 – May 1, 2012: Ballots mailed to voters (other than long-term absent and out-of-state voters)
  • May 15, 2012: Election Day
  • June 14, 2012: Certification of election results

Oregon Attorney General

Oregon Attorney General John Kroger accepted a new role as president of Reed College in Portland. Kroger announced last year he would not be running for re-election due to a medical condition and will now be ending his term early to take this position. Dwight Holton and Ellen Rosenblum are currently campaigning in a primary election race to take over as attorney general.


Oregon State Economist

The big news in the Oregon State Capitol is that Mark McMullen has been named as the new State Economist for the Department of Administrative Services, Office of Economic Analysis. He replaces Dr. Tom Potiowsky, who left to resume his career at Portland State University. McMullen has been with the Office of Economic Analysis as both interim state economist and senior economist.


Ballot Measures for November

According to Associated Oregon Industries, six of the 13 union-sponsored potential ballot measures put forth have received approval from the Oregon Supreme Court for ballot titles and have been cleared for signature gathering. Three potential measures are still pending in front of the court, while the unions have withdrawn the remaining four measures. They will need to collect enough signatures by July 1, 2012, to make it on the November ballot. Approved and pending measures are as follows:

Ballot Title Approved:

  • Measure 30 (Constitutional) – Repeals corporate kicker for biennia beginning July 1, 2013.
  • Measure 33 (Statutory) – Changes Measure 66 personal income tax rates. Under Measure 66, personal income tax rates beginning in 2012 were the following (double the dollar thresholds for joint returns); Income of less than $125,000 = 5-7-9 percent depending on income; Income greater than $125,000 = 9.9 percent. This measure adjusts those rates as follows beginning in tax year 2012; Income from $125,000 to $500,000 = 9.9 percent; Income above $500,000 = 13.6 percent.
  • Measure 34 (Statutory) – Same as Measure 33, but effective date begins for tax year 2013.
  • Measure 35 (Constitutional) – Corporate kicker excess revenues are “retained in the general fund and used to provide additional funding for public education, K-12.”
  • Measure 39 (Statutory) – Changes Measure 66 personal income tax rates. Beginning in tax year 2013, the following personal income tax rates would apply: Income of less than $125,000 = 5-7-9 percent depending on income; Income greater than $125,000 but < the “top 1 percent threshold” = 9.9 percent; Income greater than the “top 1 percent threshold” = 13.6 percent.
  • Measure 40 (Constitutional) – “Total tax expenditures authorized by Oregon law” shall be no more than the general fund budget.

Pending Ballot Title Approval:

  • Measure 28 (Statutory) – Changes Measure 67 corporate income tax rates. Under Measure 67, the following tax rates apply for corporate taxable income beginning in 2013: 6.6 percent for income below $10 million. 7.6 percent for income above $10 million. This measure would set those rates beginning in 2013 at 6.6 percent for income below $10 million and 10 percent for income above $10 million.
  • Measure 31 (Constitutional) – Corporate kicker revenues dedicated to Rainy Day Fund beginning July 1, 2013.
  • Measure 32 (Constitutional) – Changes personal income tax kicker. Personal income tax kicker credits not allowed for taxpayers whose adjusted gross income is in the top 1 percent of all personal income taxpayers. The share attributed to these taxpayers remains in the general fund.

 

Questions? Contact a member of the Association’s Legislative Affairs team:
Jennifer Wagner, Vice President of Legislative Advocacy
Mark Minickiello, Vice President of Legislative Affairs
Stacy Augustine, Senior Vice President & General Counsel

Posted in Advocacy News.