Oregon’s Largest Housing Subsidy — The $1.1 Billion Mortgage Interest Deduction — Mostly Benefits Wealthy, White Homeowners in the Urban Counties
SALEM, OR — An audit released today by the Secretary of State’s Office exposed the 99-year-old home mortgage interest deduction as a deeply inequitable and regressive tax policy. The mortgage interest deduction allows some, but not all, homeowners to reduce their taxable income by the amount of interest paid on mortgages up to $750,000, including mortgages on vacation homes.
While houselessness and the lack of affordable housing impact communities all over the state, auditors found the state’s largest housing subsidy mostly benefits wealthy and white Oregonians in urban counties. Additionally, the mortgage interest deduction receives no state-level evaluation as to whether it is meeting its purpose, limiting accountability for its inequitable outcomes.
“The affordable housing crisis is squeezing families across Oregon while the state’s largest spending on housing primarily flows to wealthy homeowners in the metro area. That is indefensible,” said Secretary of State Shemia Fagan. “Every dollar spent keeping seniors and working families in their homes or helping renters stay housed has been scrutinized and debated by lawmakers. Meanwhile billions of dollars just walk out the backdoor with no questions asked. I can’t think of a worse example of waste and systemic inequality than that.”
The mortgage interest deduction has been law in Oregon since 1923 but has never been audited. This biennium alone, the deduction is expected to cost taxpayers over $1.1 billion. Auditors analyzed the benefits of the mortgage interest deduction by income, geography, and race and found a disproportionate share of the benefits flow to the wealthiest taxpayers.
The top 1% of income earners receive more benefit from the policy than the 727,000 taxpayers in the bottom 40% combined.
A disproportionate share of the mortgage interest deduction benefits by taxpayer population go to seven counties: Clackamas, Washington, Deschutes, Columbia, Multnomah, and Yamhill. All are defined as urban by OHCS.
Black, Native American and Latine Oregonians, receive disproportionately less benefits than white Oregonians.
No evidence exists that the original intent of the policy was to promote homeownership. Most of the housing experts interviewed for this audit said the policy does not address the primary barriers experienced by low- to moderate-income homebuyers, such as high prices, closing costs and access to credit.
Auditors recommend the Legislature identify a clear purpose for the mortgage interest deduction in statute and determine if changes are necessary to ensure the purpose is met. Auditors also recommend the Legislature identify a state agency to be responsible for regularly evaluating the policy.
While the Department of Revenue is responsible for administering Oregon tax law, changing this policy would require legislative action.
Read the full audit on the Secretary of State website https://sos.oregon.gov/audits/Pages/recent.aspx
-Secretary of State
The State of Oregon
OSP Fish & Wildlife Troopers Bernardi and Morgan out of our St Helens Office received a TIP (Turn in Poachers) from two subjects angling in Scappoose Bay. The Tip reported that there were anglers who had caught a sturgeon and did not release it, as required by law. Currently, sturgeon angling is restricted to catch and release only in that area and recently large numbers of sturgeon have been present in Scappoose Bay.
The Troopers surveilled the anglers moored in a boat at Scappoose Bay Marina, over a two-day period, and witnessed suspicious behavior. The Troopers observed the anglers pull a rope from the water that appeared to have a sturgeon attached. Troopers made contact with the anglers and found none of the three men had purchased an angling license or combined angling harvest card and all were angling with barbed hooks, which is prohibited for sturgeon. The anglers initially denied being in possession of any fish, but a consent search uncovered five unlawfully retained sturgeon tied to three ropes in the water.
One angler admitted to retaining all the fish and was cited and released for: Take/Possession of Oversized White Sturgeon - C Felony, and misdemeanor crimes of Take/Possession of White Sturgeon, No Resident Angling License and Angling Prohibited Method-Barbed Hooks. The other two anglers were cited and released for the misdemeanor crimes of No Resident Angling License and No Combined Angling Tag. All five sturgeon were released back into the bay unharmed. Two rods with reels and a barbed hook were seized as evidence.
The Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife states that the overall abundance of White Sturgeon is only a fraction of what it was 150 years ago, and since sturgeon are a long-lived, slow-growing, and late-maturing species, recovery efforts can be quite prolonged. Because they already face numerous ecological, environmental, and other human-caused challenges on the road to recovery—poaching is a huge issue.
Current recreational retention and catch-and-release White Sturgeon fisheries are estimated to generate millions of dollars annually towards Oregon’s economy. Fisheries have been restricted or closed in the past during periods of low abundance. Poaching of White Sturgeon lessens the viability of the population and threatens to harm all Oregonians if anglers are no longer able to enjoy this treasured resource.
The Oregon State Police, the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, the Oregon Hunters Association have historically teamed up to try to stop poaching in Oregon. The Oregon Hunters Association TIP rewards program offers preference points or cash rewards for information leading to an arrest or issuance of a citation for the unlawful take/possession or waste of Bighorn Sheep, Rocky Mountain Goat, Moose, Elk, Deer, Antelope, Bear, Cougar, Wolf, Upland Birds, Waterfowl, Furbearers, Game Fish and Shellfish. Cash rewards can also be awarded for turning in people who destroy habitat, illegally obtain licenses/tags, and for the unlawful lending/borrowing of big game tags.
To report poaching or any natural resource crime, we ask that you use the Turn in Poachers (TIP) line at 1-800-452-7888, *OSP (*677), or email at TIP@osp.oregon.gov
***Report Wildlife and Habitat Law Violators***
The Oregon Hunters Association TIP reward offers preference points or cash rewards for information leading to an arrest or issuance of a citation for the unlawful take/possession or waste of Bighorn Sheep, Rocky Mountain Goat, Moose, Elk, Deer, Antelope, Bear, Cougar, Wolf, Upland Birds, Waterfowl, Furbearers, Game Fish and Shellfish. Cash rewards can also be awarded for turning in people who destroy habitat, illegally obtain licenses/tags, and for the unlawful lending/borrowing of big game tags.
PREFERENCE POINT REWARDS:
* 5 Points-Mountain Sheep
* 5 Points-Mountain Goat
* 5 Points-Moose
* 5 Points-Wolf
* 4 Points-Elk
* 4 Points-Deer
* 4 Points-Antelope
* 4 Points-Bear
* 4 Points-Cougar
* $1,000 Mountain Sheep, Mountain Goat and Moose
* $500 Elk, Deer, and Antelope
* $300 Bear, Cougar, and Wolf
* $300 Habitat Destruction
* $100 Upland Birds and Waterfowl
* $100 Furbearers
* $100 Game Fish and Shellfish
-Oregon State Police
OREGON STATE POLICE & LOCAL PUBLIC SAFETY AGENCIES WORKING SEVERAL MULTI-VEHICLE CRASHES ALONG I-84 BETWEEN PENDLETON AND LA GRANDE
On February 21, 2022, at approximately 12:20 P.M., OSP was notified of a motor vehicle crash on Interstate 84 westbound between milepost 229 and 230 involving numerous motor vehicles. Responding officers were notified of additional crashes while they were arriving, and then once on scene, officers could hear crashes occurring behind them.
Initial scene response revealed multiple motor vehicle crashes along an approximately one-mile-long stretch of the road involving passenger cars and commercial motor vehicles. The largest crash is estimated to involve between 15-20 cars and trucks. Early estimation is that as many as 98 vehicles have crashed in the area.
Emergency medical responders from the surrounding areas have dispatched medical and fire personnel to the scene and are actively treating and transporting patients. The total number of the injured person cannot be determined at this time.
The Umatilla County Emergency Operations Center has been activated for this incident.
Uninjured persons who cannot otherwise drive from the scene due to blockage or damaged vehicles are being transported to the Pendleton Convention Center at 1601 Westgate, Pendleton Oregon 97801. Emergency Responders are asking that only persons needing to pick up family members come to that location.
Several agencies are working together to coordinate this large-scale incident.
Oregon State Police
Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office
Umatilla County Emergency Management
Umatilla County Fire District One
Pilot Rock Fire
East Umatilla County Fire and Rescue
CTUIR Fire and Ambulance
CTUIR Emergency Management
La Grande Fire and Ambulance
Oregon Department of Transportation
Additional medic units from Union and Walla Walla County
Interstate 84 is closed westbound from milepost 302-216 and eastbound from 216-265. There is no estimation on when Interstate 84 will reopen.
-Oregon State Police
Interstate Bridge Replacement program to host “Black Communities and their Relationships with Infrastructure”
Black History Month roundtable will address how lessons learned from past infrastructure projects are informing IBR program equity emphasis
VANCOUVER, Washington – (February 16, 2022) - On Friday, February 25, 5:30-7 p.m., the Interstate Bridge Replacement (IBR) program will host “Black Communities and their Relationships with Infrastructure,” a virtual roundtable discussion highlighting the importance of learning from the history of transportation infrastructure and the resulting displacement of Black communities. This Black History Month-inspired gathering will feature prominent local Black leaders discussing how lessons learned from past harms are elevating equity-focused practices into current-day infrastructure projects like the IBR program to bring communities together.
Greg Johnson, IBR program administrator, will be joined in the roundtable discussion by Portland City Commissioner and IBR Executive Steering Group member Jo Ann Hardesty, Vancouver NAACP President and IBR Community Advisory Group member Jasmine Tolbert, Director of Outreach & Community Engagement in Global Diversity & Inclusion for Portland State University and IBR program Community Advisory Group Co-Chair Ed Washington, IBR program Principal Equity Officer Johnell Bell, and Assistant Professor at Portland State University and IBR program Equity Advisory Group Facilitator Dr. Roberta Hunte. Millicent Williams, facilitator of the IBR program Executive Steering Group, will facilitate the event.
Roundtable speakers will share their personal and family stories of displacement, answer audience questions, and discuss how the IBR program is establishing a framework to help ensure an equitable process and outcomes for the program. A limited number of webinar participant seats will be reserved for BIPOC community members to provide them with the opportunity to interact directly with the roundtable speakers.
“Black Communities and their Relationships with Infrastructure” will be livestreamed and available for playback on the IBR program YouTube channel and the IBR program Facebook page. To learn more, visit this registration link or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the bi-state Interstate Bridge Replacement program
Replacing the aging Interstate Bridge across the Columbia River with a modern, seismically resilient, multimodal structure that provides improved mobility for people, goods and services is a high priority for Oregon and Washington. Governors and legislative leadership in both states directed the Oregon Department of Transportation and Washington State Department of Transportation to launch the bi-state Interstate Bridge Replacement (IBR) program to lead this work, recognizing that needed safety and transportation improvements to the existing Interstate Bridge remain unaddressed. Program development work is centered on equity and following a transparent, data-driven process that includes collaboration with local, state, federal, and tribal partners.
Comprehensive and equitable community engagement that minimizes barriers to involvement and proactively seeks to include equity priority communities is critical to successfully identifying a bridge replacement solution that reflects community values and can earn broad regional, bi-state, and national support. The Executive Steering Group, Community Advisory Group, Equity Advisory Group, and community outreach are key components of comprehensive community engagement efforts to ensure ongoing, extensive, and inclusive public dialogue. Visit the program website at www.interstatebridge.org, sign up to receive a monthly e-newsletter and program updates, or connect with the program on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn and YouTube).
Interstate Bridge Replacement Program
Autoridad de Vivienda del Condado de Washington
Una notificación de audiencia pública de 45 días comienza el 14 de febrero de 2022, momento en el cual el borrador del plan de la Agencia de Vivienda Pública (PHA, por sus siglas en inglés) y los archivos adjuntos estarán disponibles para su revisión, así como para comentarios.
La Mesa Directiva de la Autoridad de Vivienda (HABOD, por sus siglas en inglés) llevará a cabo una audiencia pública para escuchar y analizar los comentarios públicos sobre el Plan Anual propuesto por la Autoridad de Vivienda para el año fiscal 2022-2023 el:
martes, 5 de abril de 2022, 10:00 AM
Será una reunión virtual
a través de Zoom o YouTube
Enlaces para las reuniones: https://www.co.washington.or.us/BOC/Meetings/board-meeting-schedule.cfm
Las reuniones de HABOD del Condado de Washington actualmente solo se llevan a cabo en línea. Si desea servicios de interpretación o equipo especial, o si desea proporcionar comentarios públicos durante la reunión, por favor, notifique al Departamento de Servicios de Vivienda del Condado de Washington llamando al (503) 846-4773 al menos siete días antes de la audiencia.
Los documentos del plan PHA propuesto, así como otra información relacionada estarán disponibles para su revisión en línea en el siguiente enlace:https://www.co.washington.or.us/Housing/index.cfm.
Los comentarios por escrito deben dirigirse a Melissa Sonsalla, coordinadora de políticas e iniciativas estratégicas, en 111 NE Lincoln St., Suite 200-L, Hillsboro, OR 97124-3082 o envíe un correo electrónico a Melissa_Sonsalla@co.washington.or.us.
Department of Housing Services
111 NE Lincoln Street, Suite 200-L, MS 63, Hillsboro, OR 97124-3082
(503) 846-4794 • fax (503) 846-4795 • TTY dial 711
Equal Housing Opportunity
Portland Parks & Recreation removes two potentially hazardous trees from North Park Blocks: Citywide park, natural area tree maintenance work to increase in coming year thanks to Parks Local Option Levy
(Portland, OR) –
Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) Urban Forestry crews are removing two bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum) trees from the North Park Blocks starting this week to ensure public safety. The bureau carefully follows the City of Portland’s Tree Code (Title 11), for removing dead, dying, or dangerous trees. PP&R will replant two trees in the same area as part of its standard practice to ensure Portland’s canopy growth and continued work to mitigate the effects of the climate crisis.
After two American Elm trees fell in the North Park Blocks over the last few weeks, PP&R Urban Forestry (UF) staff inspected all trees in the park’s six-block area. UF staff are experienced specially trained for their role as the City’s tree and urban forest infrastructure managers, including assessing trees for possible safety concerns.
The two bigleaf maple trees were found to have significant signs of decay; the pair will be removed in the coming days to protect public safety. Fifty-four other trees in the North Park Blocks will need maintenance work and that work is expected over the next year or so. Further tree removals may occur as that work proceeds and trees are re-evaluated.
Recent heavy rains saturated the soils in our area, reducing tree stability citywide. Combined with strong winds, conditions were ripe for trees to fall. UF arborist crews responded to several tree emergencies in recent weeks - including fallen trees citywide - which resulted from similar factors.
This past summer, PP&R inspected other North and South Park Block trees for Dutch Elm Disease (DED). The elms in the Park Blocks inoculated for DED on a three-year cycle. Treatment schedules indicate that trees on that block (Everett to Davis) were treated in 2019 and will be treated again in 2022. Staff believes it is unlikely that the DED or any treatments impacted the trees’ eventual failure. An independent tree expert inspected trees in the South Park Blocks, with support from PP&R, during the recent master planning process.
Citywide park tree maintenance coming thanks to Parks Local Option Levy
Portland Parks & Recreation’s Urban Forestry division has never had the resources to proactively care for trees in the parks system. That will change with the community’s investment in the Parks Local Option Levy (Parks Levy). Thanks to Portland voters, PP&R will have resources to prepare to proactively perform maintenance, safety checks, hazard removals, and replacement of damaged trees in PP&R parks and natural areas.
Portlanders should call 823-TREE (8733) or Trees@portlandoregon.gov to report tree emergencies on City-managed land and public streets. The bureau’s capacity to respond to tree emergencies is growing as PP&R adds staff but is currently limited. PP&R crews focus on securing and stabilizing affected areas and removing associated trees and debris so roads can safely reopen. UF crews prioritize reopening first responder routes, working from the largest to smallest roads.
-Mark Ross - Public Information Officer
Portland Parks & Recreation
Whether it’s a full-time job or just a side hustle, taxpayers must report gig economy earnings on their tax return. Understanding how gig work can affect taxes may sound complicated but, it doesn’t have to be. The IRS offers several resources to help gig economy taxpayers properly fulfill their tax responsibilities.
Here are some things gig workers should keep in mind.
Gig work is taxable:
Publication 5369, Gig Economy and your taxes: things to know
Publication 1779, Independent Contractor or Employee
Is My Residential Rental Income Taxable and/or Are My Expenses Deductible?
-IRS Tax Tips
AYUDA DE INMIGRACIÓN DISPONIBLE PARA PERSONAS AFECTADAS POR DESASTRES NATURALES Y OTRAS CIRCUNSTANCIAS IMPREVISTAS
USCIS le recuerda al público que ofrecemos servicios de inmigración para ayudar a las personas afectadas por circunstancias imprevistas como los desastres naturales. Ejemplos de circunstancias imprevistas son, pero no se limitan a, el fuego Marshall en Colorado.
Las siguientes medidas pueden estar disponibles y serán determinadas caso por caso según se soliciten:
Visite nuestra página de Situaciones Especiales o llámenos para obtener más información sobre cómo brindamos asistencia a las personas afectadas por circunstancias imprevistas. Para saber cómo solicitar, llámenos al 800-375-5283. Para personas con discapacidades: (TTY) 800-767-1833 o (VRS) 877-709-5797.
Actualice su dirección con USCIS para asegurarse de recibir toda la correspondencia y los beneficios de nuestra parte de manera oportuna y evitar posibles demoras relacionadas con su caso. Para actualizar su dirección con USCIS, visite nuestra página Cómo Cambiar su Dirección. Tenga en cuenta que cambiar su dirección con el Servicio Postal de Estados Unidos no cambiará su dirección con USCIS.
Visite nuestra página de Estatus de Nuestras Oficinas para determinar si una oficina está abierta y para obtener información sobre la reprogramación de citas. En particular, si su cita de InfoPass se vio afectada por un desastre natural, puede reprogramar su cita en línea o llamando al Centro de Contacto de USCIS.
Todos los requisitos del Formulario I-9, Verificación de Elegibilidad de Empleo, permanecen vigentes. Aquellos afectados por desastres naturales deben visitar la Central I-9 para obtener más información sobre cómo completar el Formulario I-9 si los documentos de un empleado se ha perdido, o fue robado o dañado.
-U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service
On Tuesday, January 11, 2022 at approximately 7:04 AM Oregon State Police and emergency personnel responded to a two-vehicle collision on Hwy 22W near MP 9.
Preliminary investigation revealed a westbound maroon Toyota Camry, operated by Elisabeth Robin (34) of Grand Ronde, crossed over into oncoming lanes for unknown reasons and collided head-on with an eastbound maroon International semi-truck hauling logs, operated by Travis Flatt (31) of Toledo.
Robin was transported to the Salem Hospital with life threatening injuries and was later pronounced deceased. Flatt remained at the scene and is cooperating with the investigation.
Hwy 22W was closed for approximately 7 hours. NWFF Environmental Services responded to address a fuel spill as a result of the collision.
OSP was assisted by Polk County Sheriff's Office, Polk County Fire and Medics and ODOT.
-News Release from Oregon State Police
Posted on FlashAlert: January 11th, 2022 2:08 PM
SALEM, OR — The Oregon Elections Division notified the Nicholas Kristof campaign this morning that it is rejecting his filing for Governor because he does not meet the constitutional requirements to serve. Article V, § 2 of the Oregon Constitution requires a candidate for governor to have been a "resident within this state" for three years before the election.
"The rules are the rules and they apply equally to all candidates for office in Oregon. I stand by the determination of the experts in the Oregon Elections Division that Mr. Kristof does not currently meet the Constitutional requirements to run or serve as Oregon Governor," said Secretary of State Shemia Fagan. "As Oregon’s chief elections official, it is my responsibility to make sure all candidates on the statewide ballot are qualified to serve if elected. The Oregon Elections Division and local election officials use the same standards to determine qualifications for hundreds of candidates in dozens of offices every year. In this instance, the candidate clearly does not meet the constitutional requirement to run or serve as governor of Oregon."
ORS 249.031(1)(f) requires all candidates to provide a signed statement affirming that they will qualify for office if elected. Oregon elections officials evaluate whether prospective candidates meet residency requirements by checking Oregon voter registration records. If those records are insufficient to verify residency, or if officials become aware of other concerns about residency, they ask prospective candidates to provide additional facts. Elections officials across the state routinely review the residency of prospective candidates; it is not uncommon for officials to reject prospective candidates who do not meet eligibility requirements.
"If Mr. Kristof chooses to appeal, the Oregon Elections Division is committed to doing everything possible to allow Oregon courts to decide promptly," said Deborah Scroggin, Oregon Elections Director. "My office remains focused on ensuring a fair process and meeting our March 17th deadline, after which clerks begin printing ballots. While the primary election is in May, for Oregon’s elections administrators, the work begins much sooner."
ORS 246.910 states that a person who is adversely affected by any act of the Secretary of State or by any order, rule, directive, or instruction made by the Secretary of State under any election law, may appeal to the appropriate circuit court. Oregon statute requires the Secretary of State to provide a list of qualified candidates to county clerks by March 17, 2022, allowing them to design, print, and mail ballots for the May 2022 primary election.
Secretary of State Shemia Fagan and professional staff from the Oregon Elections Division will hold a press availability for credentialed media and take questions at 11:00 a.m. today. For log in information, please contact email@example.com.
-Secretary of State
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