June 20, 2003


Oregon taxes the poor more heavily than the rich through excise and property taxes. If income taxes are so bad, why did Oregon's economy grow faster than that of any other state from 1995 to 2000?

Income inequality exploded in the 1990s. Hass' advice would exacerbate the problem. Swapping income taxes for consumption taxes would shift the tax burden further onto the poor and make financing a rainy day fund harder. Also, Oregonians would pay higher net taxes to raise the same revenue, because consumption taxes are not deductible on federal income taxes.

So says Jeff Thompson of the Oregon Center for Public Policy, in the letters section of today's Trib.