An Oregon Bill to Cut Millions in Timber Taxes Is Dead, Despite Backing by Industry and the Governor

By Rob Davis
March 18, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Oregon state Sen. Elizabeth Steiner seemed to have a lot of power and momentum behind her effort that would have shifted the costs of wildland firefighting further onto taxpayers this year. The influential timber industry, which stood to save millions and is a major source of campaign cash in the state, worked behind closed doors to help craft Steiner’s proposal. Republican leaders threw their support behind it. Gov. Tina Kotek, whose staff assisted in the bill’s development, also came out in favor. But there was fallout from the effort. …And then, in the Legislature’s waning moments, Steiner’s bill died. In an email to ProPublica, she blamed “technical difficulties” without specifying what they were. …The bill’s failure leaves unresolved a debate over how much the timber industry pays for services like fire protection in Oregon, decades after a series of massive tax cuts whose harms… [were] documented in a 2020 investigation.

Read More