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Governor signs tax increase package

  Referendum campaign could start this week

Herald and News 7/21/09

     SALEM (AP) — Gov. Ted Kulongoski signed a $733 million tax hike package into law Monday, calling it a “modest”   increase on Oregon’s top earners that will protect schools and state programs from budget cuts.

   Business groups and anti-tax activists immediately said they would file paperwork today to launch a referendum campaig n that could have petitioners collecting   signatures by the end of the week to force a statewide vote on the taxes.

   Passed by the Democratic-led Oregon Legislature, one measure raises personal income taxes for individuals with taxable incomes of more than $125,000   a year or joint filers at more than $250,000. A separate measure raises corporate income taxes.

   Kulongoski said the targeted increases will make Oregon’s tax system more fa ir while averting deep budget cuts to vital services.

   “Middle-class families   will not be paying a single penny more in taxes,” the Democratic governor said. “We are asking corporations and the wealthiest Oregonians to pay their fair share to help protect services we all depend on — education, health care and public safety.”














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