TFO urges you to write Governor Kotek to ask her to veto HB 2083, a bill that would continue a tax benefit for Oregon’s wealthiest business owners.
The bill is among a string of benefits for the rich the legislature deemed worthy in the 2023 session. Kotek has signed SB 498, an estate tax bill that opens a loophole for billionaires to exploit the “natural resources credit” intended for small farmers. That action followed the resurrection of a dubious research and development tax credit and other benefits for businesses—packaged in a bill that in its final form dropped disconnection from federal Opportunity Zones, another boon for investors and landowners that was advertised (falsely) as an instrument of prosperity for low-income communities.
HB 2083 would extend a provision that allows business owners to get around the federal limitation on state and local tax deductions. Most taxpayers are limited to $10,000 in itemized SALT payments. But under the 2083 regime, the owners of LLCs and other business entities can, through a complicated election that is said to cost the state nothing, take unlimited federal SALT deductions.
TFO testified against the regime when it was considered two years ago and again in the 2023 session. (For the nerdy details, read our testimony.) Ours is a moral stand: Taxpayers who happen to be business owners should not have a tax break that Congress denied to taxpayers who happen to be employees (or coupon clippers). Income is income, and deductions are deductions—unless, of course, the legislature gets creative on behalf of—well, you get the picture.
That’s why we ask you to take action on HB 2083.