February 17, 2020

Salem, OR – Last week, a public hearing was held on Senate Bill 1560 in the Senate Finance and Revenue Committee. The bill raises the Oregon estate tax exemption from $1 million to $2.5 million at the highest, then lowers the exemption amount based on the size of the estate.

Sen. Findley (R-Vale) said, “What I am proposing is an estate tax reform that will keep Oregon citizens from moving out of state. Right now, it makes more economic sense for my constituents to move to neighboring states that do not have estate taxes. We are losing good families that form the fabric of our communities – and revenue – because of an outdated law that ignores inflation and the large increase in property value.”

In the context of wider America, 35 states do not have an estate tax, of the 12 states that have a state law concerning taxing the estate, the states of Oregon and Massachusetts have the lowest exemption rates at $1 million. Washington State’s exemption is $2.193 million. Our neighbors California, Idaho, and Nevada do not have estate taxes. The federal exemption is $11.58 million per individual. Further, it is now easier for couples to move out of state because capital gains are excluded up to $500,000 if they have lived in the home as a primary residence for two years.