PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Some Oregon lawmakers are pushing for stimulus payments to be tax-free for some 870,000 taxpayers who will see an increase in their state tax liability because of them.
Oregon is expected to see more than $100 million in tax revenue from just the first round of stimulus checks. After learning this, Oregon U.S. House Rep. Peter DeFazio wrote a letter to Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon legislature, urging them to ensure the stimulus payments remain tax-free as Congress intended.
DeFazio wrote, “It is unconscionable to ask those working families who have struggled the most during this crisis to bear the weight of the state’s budget shortfall.”
Oregon State Sen. Dick Anderson agreed. He introduced a bill on Wednesday that would refund taxpayers.
“Part of their stimulus checks from the federal government were being siphoned off by the state and I don’t think that was the intent and we have evidence that that was not the intent, so there needs to be a fix,” Anderson said.
If passed, Senate Bill 842 would require the Department of Revenue to send checks to people to refund the tax taken out of their stimulus checks, similar to how the Oregon “kicker” tax rebate is handled.
Gov. Brown’s office pointed out that other provisions of the CARES Act reduced the state’s revenue. But DeFazio said making up those lost funds should not fall to taxpayers. He added that the state is expected to receive $2.6 billion in the next round of COVID relief.