Tax and spend: How Oregon measures up.Byline: David Steves The Register-Guard
SALEM - Is Oregon a big-spending state or a low-tax haven? New Census data doesn't exactly clear up that long-disputed question.
According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the U.S. Census Bureau Noun 1. Census Bureau - the bureau of the Commerce Department responsible for taking the census; provides demographic information and analyses about the population of the United States
Bureau of the Census , Oregon is both. It ranks a low 40th among the states in tax receipts, collecting $1,700 per capita [Latin, By the heads or polls.] A term used in the Descent and Distribution of the estate of one who dies without a will. It means to share and share alike according to the number of individuals. in 2004. But it also ranks a fairly high 17th for per capita expenditures at $4,797.
In any event, the new data show Oregon is among the vast majority of states where the taxpayer burden has gone up, when compared with a decade earlier. Oregon's state tax collections per capita increased by 30 percent from 1994 to 2004.
Nationally, the average increase was 41 percent.
Even when the numbers are adjusted for inflation, the individual tax burdens increase in 43 states, including Oregon.
Oregon's income tax rates haven't changed, but as income has increased, so too has the amount that Oregonians pay to the state, said Paul Warner, head of the nonpartisan non·par·ti·san
Based on, influenced by, affiliated with, or supporting the interests or policies of no single political party: a nonpartisan commission; nonpartisan opinions. Legislative Revenue Office.
"During that time, Oregon's personal income went up 45.2 percent, so taxes as a share of income has actually declined," Warner said.
Chuck Sheketoff, executive director of the Oregon Center for Public Policy said the increased spending in Oregon and other states isn't an indication of runaway spending, but that the costs of providing public services Public services is a term usually used to mean services provided by government to its citizens, either directly (through the public sector) or by financing private provision of services. and employing public workers are being driven up by the same thing that's affecting the bottom lines of private employers and households.
"One of the reasons is health care," said Sheketoff, whose center examines tax and spending policies and how they affect lower-income households. "A big share of the cost of government is health care."
Bill Conerly, an economist and the chairman of the Cascade Policy Institute Cascade Policy Institute is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy research organization based in Portland, Oregon that focuses on state and local issues. The institute, founded in January 1991, seeks to "explore and advance public policy alternatives that foster individual in Portland, said the reason Oregon's government spending Government spending or government expenditure consists of government purchases, which can be financed by seigniorage, taxes, or government borrowing. It is considered to be one of the major components of gross domestic product. for such things as education, health and human services Noun 1. Health and Human Services - the United States federal department that administers all federal programs dealing with health and welfare; created in 1979
Department of Health and Human Services, HHS , and public safety programs is above the national average, yet its tax receipts per capita are below average, is that it relies on other forms of revenue to pad what it collects from taxpayers.
"The difference is fees," said Conerly, whose institute advocates libertarian-leaning free-market policies.
Warner said the biggest state fee is tuition For tuition fees in the United Kingdom, see .
Tuition means instruction, teaching or a fee charged for educational instruction especially at a formal institution of learning or by a private tutor usually in the form of one-to-one tuition. paid by public university students. He cited additional nontax revenue sources that helped boost Oregon's spending levels to above the nationwide state-spending average, which was $4,797 in 2004. These revenue sources included the lottery lottery, scheme for distributing prizes by lot or other method of chance selection to persons who have paid for the opportunity to win. The term is not applicable when lots are drawn without payment by the interested parties to determine some matter, e.g. and federal money that's transferred to the state for programs such as highway construction and Medicaid health insurance for the poor.
The Census numbers do not include local taxes, which in many states generate most of the money for schools. They also do not include federal taxes.
Nationally, rising education and Medicaid costs have fueled state spending growth, which has led to higher taxes. In a bid to stem rising costs for states, Congress passed legislation last week allowing states to charge about 13 million Medicaid beneficiaries new or increased co-payments and premiums.
But education is the biggest budget item, consuming an average of 31 percent of state spending. Public welfare, which includes Medicaid, comes in second at 24 percent. Highways account for 6 percent of state spending and police protection accounts for just 1 percent.
States, on average, get nearly half of their tax revenue from sales taxes sales tax, levy on the sale of goods or services, generally calculated as a percentage of the selling price, and sometimes called a purchase tax. It is usually collected in the form of an extra charge by the retailer, who remits the tax to the government. , a third from personal income taxes and 5 percent from corporate income taxes.
Alaska, which gets much of it revenue from oil production, saw its tax receipts drop 1 percent, to $2,035 per person. Oil revenue helped Alaska spend $12,294 per person in 2004, far more than any state.
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Associated Press (AP)
Cooperative news agency, the oldest and largest in the U.S. and long the largest in the world. contributed to this report.
State tax receipts per person:
2004: $1,700; 40th in nation
1994: $1,309; 30th in nation
Highest 2004: Hawaii, $3,050
Lowest 2004: Texas, $1,368
California: $2,392 in 2004; ninth in nation
Washington: $2,239 in 2004; 13th in nation
ON THE WEB
For more information, visit the Census Bureau's state government finances page, www.census.gov /govs/www/ state.html