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Entries in tax credits (3)


Push to Adjourn Follows Weekend Off

Legislators came close to adjourning late last week, but decided to take the weekend off and return today for the final push.
Standing in the way is an agreement on the Corrections Department and a way to fill a $20 million budget hole.

Here's the way one legislator, Rep. Dennis Richardson, R-Central Point, put it in a newsletter to his constituents:

"Two weeks ago, I expected we would have adjourned this legislative session by last Friday, June17th. Last Friday I expected we would be adjourned by Wednesday, June 22nd. Last Wednesday I expected we would be adjourned by today, Friday, June 24th. Today I have no idea how long this session will continue. Constitutionally, it must adjourn by July 10th, the final date allowed for the session without a 2/3 vote.

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Tax Credits in the Spotlight 

The legislature is considering how much money to allocate to tax credits for manufacturing and installing energy conservation equipment.One of the questions still lingering this session is what tax credits will survive in a time of extreme budget austerity.

Of the existing tax credits, about $40 million worth are set to expire in 2012. Legislators would have to renew tax credits this session if they wish to keep them available.

Ways and Means budget writers have set aside about $10 million in the budget for tax credits, and a Joint Committee on Tax Credits is charged with sifting through the tax credits up for renewal and choosing whether to keep, reduce or let them expire.

When the joint tax credits committee was announced, it sparked a philosophical debate: are tax credits part of revenue policy or spending policy? At the Capitol, that makes a difference because tax issues are considered in the Revenue Committee, and budget issues are considered in the Ways and Means Committee. By creating a new committee, legislators didn't have to answer that question, though the best answer is that tax credits are part of both, and that's what the new committee enables.

Business Energy Tax Credit

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Legislators Could Tweak Tax Breaks to Balance Budget

Oregon legislators are homing in on tax credits as they try to balance the state budget this session. House Co-Speaker Bruce Hanna, R-Roseburg, said this week the state will have fewer tax incentives by the end of the session.

To that end, legislative leaders formed a Joint Committee on Tax Credits to look at ways to save money be reducing or eliminating tax breaks. It will meet next week for the first time to begin analyzing tax credit bills.

At least a dozen tax credits are set to sunset and a few new ones are proposed. The co-chairs of Ways and Means will designate an amount in their proposed budget for tax credits. The Joint Tax Credits Committee's task is to look at how much those tax credits will cost the state in lost revenue and develop a package that matches the allocation in the state budget.

The committee will have to strike a balance of increasing the states's revenue during a budget shortfall without cutting tax credits that stimulate the economy.

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