Tax bill for schools defeated

Democrats and Republicans in the Oregon Legislature wasted no time blaming each other for the defeat of a tax bill on Tuesday that would have provided more dollars for schools.

"Frankly, we failed," Sen. Alan Bates, D-Medford, said. "We couldn't get the Republicans there."

Republicans faulted Democrats for asking for a tax hike that wasn't necessary to balance the budget while failing to heed Republicans' demands for a $150 million tax cut for corporations.

"If you're not going to fix the PERS (Public Employees Retirement System) crisis, we're not going to give you a tax increase," Rep. Dennis Richardson, R-Central Point, said.

House Bill 2456, which would have raised $200 million in taxes, failed in a 15-15 Senate vote. Democrats hoped to entice a few Republicans to join them as the Legislature attempts to wrap up this session.

— Damian Mann

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