From the Desk of Kevin Mannix
Part of my work as a State Representative involves getting decisions on proposed laws.
There is more than one way to get legislation to the House Floor to vote on it. There is the familiar way of waiting for a bill to pass through a committee and then arrive on the House Floor. However, there are many great bills that, due to committee workloads, will never have the opportunity to be voted on by the rest of the House without this second method.
The second way to move a bill to be voted on in the House is to pull that bill out of the committee where the bill has been sent. This may be done by members of the House who believe that the bill stuck in committee is beneficial to the people of Oregon and should be acted upon.
Such an occasion happened on Tax Day, April 18, 2023.
During Floor Session on April 18, 2023, many House members and I attempted to pull five House Bills from the House Committee on Revenue.
The first of these bills was one of which I am the chief sponsor. It would have repealed Oregon’s Corporate Sales Tax. Though it taxes corporations, as the name implies, businesses pass that cost onto consumers. Therefore, by repealing that tax, we are relieving a tax burden on all Oregon consumers.
The rest of the bills would have repealed Oregon’s Death Tax, helped Oregon’s small businesses by raising the threshold for the Corporate Sales Tax from $1 million to $5 million, raised Oregon’s Death Tax exemption from $1 million to $2 million, and, finally, reduced personal tax rates for all Oregonians – especially lower-income households.
Oregon has some of the highest tax rates in the United States. All of these bills were designed as common-sense ways to relieve some of that burden on Oregonians. Sadly, none of these five bills received the 31 votes necessary to bring them to the floor of the House. If the bills had been pulled out of committee to the House floor, we could have had a full debate on their merits and explained the benefits to Oregonians.
I will continue to work within our committees for beneficial legislation, but I will also support efforts to bring some bills directly to the floor in an effort for them to have a full debate among all the House members.