Many Oregonians will lose a valuable tax benefit next year, when Congress imposes a new ceiling on the amount of state and local taxes people can deduct.
In Oregon, where there is no sales tax, residents who itemize tax deductions have been able to deduct state income taxes—which are among the nation's highest—and property taxes.
But the sweeping changes Congress approved before Christmas limited the total deduction for state and local taxes to $10,000.
That change will hammer residents in high-tax states such as Oregon, California and New York, according to analysis by the Tax Foundation.
Around the country, taxpayers are seeking ways to minimize the impact of losing such deductions—including asking whether they can prepay next year's property taxes.
The answer in some jurisdictions is apparently yes—but not in Oregon.
On Dec. 14, the Oregon Department of Revenue issued guidance to tax assessors in all Oregon counties. Here's what it said:
"We have received multiple inquiries from property owners regarding prepayment of their property taxes for the 2018-19 tax year. The question is coming up in relation to the federal income tax legislation that may either limit or no longer allow taxpayers to deduct their local property tax payments," the memo said.
Outside of the specific situations [which are rare] outlined in ORS 311.370, prepayments are not allowed."
Updated at 2 pm:
Gov. Kate Brown's spokesman, Chris Pair, says Brown's not yet ready to take such a step.
"Gov. Brown has directed the Department of Revenue and Office of Economic Analysis to provide an analysis of how the Republican tax plan will impact Oregonians," Pair said in a statement. "Once that work is completed we will have a clearer picture of Oregon's economic future."