Pennsylvania & Oregon: Substantive Steps Toward Solvency

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While some states continue to believe that they can weather the current fiscal crisis with the budgetary equivalent of a rubber band, a paper clip, and some chewing gum -- yes, we're looking at you, Kentucky -- others, such as Pennsylvania and Oregon, recognize that the deficits spawned by the national recession should, in turn, spur them to shore up their tax codes.

In the Keystone State this past week, Governor Ed Rendell indicated that he would back an increase in the state's personal income tax rate from 3.07 to 3.57 percent. After all, as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette observes "difficult times require tough action."

On the other side of the country, Oregon legislators gave final approval to changes in their corporate and personal income taxes that are expected to yield more than $700 million in additional revenue; those changes are expected to be signed into law by Governor Ted Kulongoski. Among the changes pending in Oregon are the creation of two new (albeit temporary) top income tax brackets with rates of 10.8 and 11 percent and increases in the state's corporate minimum tax.

For more on the need to raise additional revenue in Pennsylvania, see this statement from the Pennsylvania Budget & Policy Center and an array of other organizations.

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