The Oregon Senate this morning approved two bills – one to raise corporate taxes and another to raise income taxes. Both were carried on a party line vote, 18 yes (all Democrats), 11 no (all Republicans) and one Republican not voting due to absence. That was enough for the two-thirds majority required for tax increases by the state constitution.
Sen. Mark Hass (D-Beaverton) had objected to the permanent nature of the tax hikes and wanted them to sunset when the economy improves. That left Senate Democrats with a choice: either compromise with Hass, or start cutting programs and services to balance the budget. Here’s the compromise: the added revenues will be diverted to a rainy day fund after 2013. It was enough to secure Hass’s vote and passage of the tax increases.