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Monday, October 13, 2014

Across the Great Divide

Tomorrow, in Salem, the Oregon Supreme Court will finally take oral arguments in the four consolidated cases contesting the legislative changes to the retiree COLA and the "income tax remedy" for retirees living outside the state of Oregon and not subject to Oregon income tax. Expect a decision in four to six months. My current handicap gives a slight edge to the plaintiffs (us) in the COLA contest (my current betting is a modest 55:45 edge to retirees). The tax remedy is much trickier to handicap. If the case is based on HB 3349 (passed in 1995), I suspect that the plaintiffs have nearly no chance to triumph (20-1 against), while the original SB 656 (1991) May have a slightly better chance (50:50 today). The PERS Coalition is not even contesting HB 3349.

If you want to do your part, you can try to attend the hearings tomorrow. Sorry for the late notice. I've been traveling since the 3rd week of September and will only get home later tomorrow afternoon.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

1 comment:

Andrew said...

I think the odds you suggest are reasonable based on the relative merits of the competing legal arguments. But I don't presume the strength of the arguments will dictate the outcome. As history well demonstrates, judges are often more swayed by social and political forces than by the law. Such facts as that the popular will has increasingly turned against PERS, and that the Oregonian received a Pulitzer prize for stoking the flames out of which this legislation arose are likely to influence how the judges decide the case. Sadly, I think the odds are against the retirees in all of the cases before the court.