Proposed Oregon Tax on Old Cars Gets Hauled to the Scrapyard

House Republicans lambasted the bill.

Junker car (Paul L Dineen)

The Oregon House Revenue Committee is zero-for-two on proposed tax bills this week.

Joining the proposed "coffee tax" on the ash-heap of history is House Bill 2877, introduced Wednesday, which would have required owners of vehicles 20 years old or more to pay a $1,000 tax every five years. The revenue generated would have gone to the State Highway Fund.

The bill was immediately criticized as a tax that would unfairly burden the poor. Detractors pointed out that the people who are driving older cars are usually doing so because they can't afford anything newer. It's the lower-income bracket who would be hit with this tax, while the folks with the new Lexus roll right on by.

Republicans attacked bill nearly as soon as it landed in the House Revenue Committee.

"The used car tax proposal is pathetic," House Republican Leader Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte) said in a press release today. "Only out-of-touch liberals could have come up with an idea this dumb, which would hurt seniors, students and working families."

One Oregonian was so alarmed by the bill that she alerted lawmakers and WW.

Amethyst Crosby, who lives on the Oregon coast, finds the bill "ridiculous", and Friday morning had already contacted her representatives to voice her disapproval.

Crosby was especially concerned for people in non-metropolitan communities like hers, who often don't have the option of using a bus service instead of driving. For that reason, she thinks this bill was far worse than the one hitting coffee beans.

"Buying coffee is a choice, but a lot of us don't have a choice in how we manage our money and transportation options," Crosby explains.

But just like Thursday's proposed coffee tax, the old-car tax is already dead. The bill has not been set for a hearing, and Representative Phil Barnhart (D-Central Lane and Linn Counties), chair of the House Revenue Committee, does not currently intend to hold one.

"There are 100 bills in the committee, and most will not receive a hearing," a spokesperson from Barnhart's office says.

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