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Fri May 5, 2017, 04:41 AM

Oregon Speaker earmarks $1.4B for education from tax hike

SALEM, Ore. Three Democratic lawmakers, including House Speaker Tina Kotek, unveiled an unexpected proposal Thursday for Oregon's looming $1.6 billion budget shortfall that draws ideas from another plan but includes multi-billion-dollar earmarks for education and long-awaited estimates for spending cuts.

Both proposals before the newly-created Joint Tax Reform Committee could raise up to $3 billion in extra funds for the next 2017-19 biennium through an overhaul of Oregon's corporate income tax system similar to Measure 97, which voters struck down in November.

How the two might be combined and included in the final budget package with spending cuts and reduced personal income taxes will become clearer after May 16 when state economists release the next quarterly revenue forecast a much-anticipated report that'll help lawmakers know how much money they'll have to work with for the next budget cycle.

If Republicans, however, maintain their opposition during the final two-month stretch of the 2017 session, voters could wind up having the final say on the business tax proposal that, so far, is a more tepid version of the $6 billion-tax boost from big business they rejected through Measure 97 last year.

Read more: http://projects.registerguard.com/apf/ore/or-xgr-tax-reform/

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