Rep. Courtney Neron voted for the regressive tax
State Rep. Courtney Neron voted for a cell phone tax, which passed during the first Special Session at a time when Oregon’s people and economy might not appreciate the financial investment on behalf of the government, when they are themselves are soon required to make massive and historic budget cuts due to the recent shutdown of the economy. The tax will be applied to monthly service bills.
The proceeds of the tax are dedicated to building rural broadband infrastructure. Nonetheless, many Republican legislators from rural districts voted no, as they could not see the benefits outweighing the drawback of another tax.
Senate Republicans voted against SB 1603
, describing it as a cell phone tax disguised as a rural assistance bill. “The legislative process has not only been taken away from Oregonians, but now they must absorb a new tax when they are living in an economic shutdown,” said Senate Republican Leader Fred Girod (R-Stayton). “Democrats are spending money the state doesn’t have. This is a tax, and I think Oregon deserves better.” The Emergency Board recently allocated $20 million to broad band. “You know something is wrong with a bill when senators like me that represent rural Oregonians voted no,” said Senator Lynn Findley (R-Vale). “My constituents cannot afford another tax on their livelihoods, especially when the Emergency Board just allocated $20 million in funds to broadband without any plan on what projects the money will go to.”
Critics have also noted that many Oregonians -- including many rural Oregonians -- use their cell phone as an internet connection and has the effect of taxing an existing internet connection in order to create another one. The irony of urban Democrats voting to tax their urban constituents to create a benefit for rural areas is also apparent. The tax is also seen by experts as regressive, placing a heavier burden on lower-income people who have to use a greater proportion of their income to pay the tax.
Governor Brown signed the bill into law on July 7.
|Post Date: 2020-07-10 19:10:16||Last Update: 2020-08-03 20:12:22|