local | Elections

Tax Opponents Decry Proposed Ballot Titles

OPB | Oct. 19, 2009 9:01 a.m. | Updated: July 17, 2012 1:09 a.m. | Salem, OR

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By Chris Lehman

Opponents of a pair of tax hikes that are going before Oregon voters in January say that Democrats in the Legislature are trying to unfairly influence voters.

A Legislative panel released draft language Monday that will appear on the ballot. Chris Lehman reports.


The upcoming tax campaign will likely include millions of dollars of ads. But the last thing Oregonians will see before they mark “yes” or “no” is something called a ballot title.

It's several sentences describing the measures. One raises taxes on upper-income earners, the other on corporations.

Democratic lawmakers say 90 percent of Oregon's general fund is made up of education, health care and public safety.

So the ballot title says those would have to be cut if the measures fail. But Pat McCormick of the business-funded group trying to overturn the tax hikes says the proposed language is flawed.

Pat McCormick: “It speculates about what would happen should these measures not pass. There's no linkage in the language of the measures themselves to what it is they will be funding.”

McCormick says without major changes his group will appeal the ballot titles to the Oregon Supreme Court.

The Legislative panel in charge of finalizing the ballot title will hold a public hearing Tuesday before signing off on a final version later this week.


Online:

Draft Ballot Title Language for Measure 66

Draft Ballot Title Language for Measure 67

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