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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 31, 2013 1:06 PM. The previous post in this blog was Another $450 million for the CRoCk?. The next post in this blog is Portland's a big city, sometimes. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Taxes in Washington State: simple and unfair

Our neighbor to the north has gained the dubious distinction of being named in this study as the most regressive place in America when it comes to taxes. People knock Oregon when they notice that the rich flock to places like Camas (just look at Char-Lie), but up against a system like Washington's, it's hard for any progressive state to compete for rich residents. [Via Wonkette.]

This illustrates perfectly the tension in tax policy between simplicity and fairness. You get to pick one; you can't have both.

Comments (21)

I vote simplicity. Far easier to quantify than whatever the left's current definition of "fair" is.

Yes, I would expect that to be the Lake Oswego take on taxes.

Would that be because two of richest men in the world let alone the US, reside in Washington?

Maybe a "one of the world's biggest" yacht rentals for the weekend is a good way to keep the tax lawyers and bureacrats, pacified?

You have to add in the array of fees, also. It was only a few years back when Oregon raised every fee in the state (parking at state parks, fishing licenses, DMV licenses, etc -- there were dozens or hundreds as I recall) hugely.

Also, Oregon's income tax is barely progressive. It is a flat tax between $7,751 and $125,000 (double for married filing jointly). That encompasses sub-minimum wage to relatively affluent if not rich.

I don't know if most cities have taxes beyond their apportionment via property taxes but mine does, to the tune of at least several hundred dollars a year.

The report exposes sham claims of an inequitable tax system in the US. In only six states do the top 5% pay more than 15% of taxes even though they control 14.8% of all income.

Contrast that with the 27 states where the bottom 20% pay greater than 10% of all taxes even though the bottom HALF of the income distribution controls 13.5% of total income.

Yes, Sally: sewer and water charges, on-street parking permits, leaf removal fees, taxes on telephone service, rental cars and hotels, and so on. It's become a big piece of the total picture the last few years.

The other day I decided to get the title to my car re-issued, so that my spouse and I could both be on it. $77.

In my view, our plum of a city was ripe for the picking and now what is left,
bits of harvesting left on the ground here and there?
Speaking of ground, apparently land is so scarce now with the infill, that not enough adequate is left for companies to come into the city to locate and provide jobs.
It isn't enough that they have maneuvered revenue around and taken what they could for pet projects, so now are coming for our pockets, a tax here and a tax there until . . . . . . .
oh but we have millions more coming in that we have to continue losing our livability for?? How they can still attempt to run that mantra by us and keep a straight face is beyond me!

Well, as long as states tax differently the rich will go to the lowest tax load.

Unfortunately, a lot of the rich run companies with HQs and good-paying jobs which usually end up in the state where the high-ups live.

Which might explain Jeld-Wen and Daimler leaving Nike and Intel as the only two large companies in OR. God forbid either of those has some bad years.

"'s hard to for any progressive state to compete for rich residents."

Might want to contemplate that thought. A lot. Turn it over in your mind. Think about it before elections.

The only word in Steve's post above that is worthy of close attention is "load", which pretty much describes what he has to say. Where are the data that support the assertion that rich people go to low-tax states? You were thinking, maybe, New York, New Jersey, California, Steve?

Individuals and businesses in Oregon with resources (money) are leaving in droves to Washington State and other places. You can whine all you want about "tax fairness" but any tax policy that chases people and businesses with resources out of the state is a bad policy. It leaves behind a dead economy, and a system in which only public employees have decent wages and pensions. And that, of course, in sustainable and embarrassing. It's why Oregon has one of the worse education systems in the country....ranked 46th. I'll take Washinton's tax system over stifling Oregon's any day.

"The other day I decided to get the title to my car re-issued, so that my spouse and I could both be on it. $77."

Ouch. That should be a $10 service. I looked for but cannot find the original report of the new fees. I think it was between one and four years ago. When I first saw it, I was so shocked I thought it was maybe a wing-nut thing, but I verified it at the state site. There were many many of those enormous increases.

None of them "taxes," note.

Speaking of "not taxes," what about the lottery? Huge revenue raiser. Hugely regressive. Not a "tax." Except "voluntarily" on the mostly down-and-out?? And it is not calculated in this assessment of Oregon vis-a-vis other states.

There may be honest disagreement on what's "fair".

But, don't say that out loud...

The lottery is not a tax. Play to win. :-)

Dear Oregon Legislature,

Please wake up and smell the tax revenue waiting to be harvested in Oregon's MASSIVE underground cash economy. Why should the guy growing pot in his basement or the handyman doing cash work pay NOTHING for the infrastructure and services they use when they go to buy that new 50" flatscreen/ATV/game system etc? Meanwhile they show poverty level income and take part in numerous 'programs' for the poor.

Cut the income tax to 6%, and implement a sales tax of 4%.
Exempt staples such as unprepared foods and give a tax credit on large ticket items to low income households to assure the sales tax is not terribly regressive.


If you think Oregon's cash economy that avoids the 9% income tax is not substantial, you haven't been here very long or are not paying attention. I routinely get 10-15% discounts by offering cash. Why IS that?


Always thought fair was a word best used by little league mothers.

Actually I was thinking about where BMW and M-B and VW build plants which isn't Oregon. Plus if you want look at fast growing places like Houston and Phoenix, they are lower taxes.

Also we seem to have enough taxes here to take an extra 1B out of gen funds last session and this upcoming session for PERS contributions. Again we are just not drawing employers and consequently job growth here. If Intel and Nike hit a rough patch we are really screwed unless we make OR more attractive.

Median household income by state, 2011:

Washington $56,835

Oregon $46,816

Interestingly, since 2007, median household income has gone down a couple of thousand bucks in Oregon, and has gone up a couple of thousand bucks in Washington.

Don't be surprised when you learn that Retired Randy is moving across the Columbia...He has a whole lotta income that doesn't need to be taxed in Oregon anymore.

Don't be surprised when you learn that Retired Randy is moving across the Columbia...He has a whole lotta income that doesn't need to be taxed in Oregon anymore.

But, but, but...

Mr. Allan L. told me that doesn't happen.

What to do?

Oh me...

You mean the Oracle might be wrong???

I am not so sure Randy would move across the Columbia for tax purposes.
I am thinking that Randy may want to move further away, so he won't have to read/hear about the result of his disastrous decisions while water commissioner.
He most likely will take "his" PWB book with him wherever he goes as a reminder that he did good.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
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Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
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Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
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Conundrum, White 2013
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The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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