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"The First Unemployment Claim" of Measure 67
Soon after last Tuesday's Measures 66/67 Have Passed show, we got a message from our guest Brent DeHart. (He owns Salem Aviation and DeHart's Mission Street Shell, and was one of the chief petitioners for Measure 67.) Brent said that immediately after he got off the phone from the show, he laid off an employee who had worked with him for 14 years, leading to "probably one of the first unemployment claims of Measure 67."
When I followed up Brent, I asked for some more of the numbers behind his decision.
Brent said that his personal salary was $76,000 last year. The employee he laid off was making $40,000. And his extra Measure 67 tax liability was about $4,000. I asked how he could blame a $4,000 expense for the move to cut a position that cost ten times that amount.
He said that this was the straw that broke the camel's back.
"I began 2009 with about $6,000 in debt, and ended with about $60,000," he said. "Now that it’s clear that the recession will be prolonged by this ill-advised tax policy, I can’t go another $50,000 in debt."
Was he second-guessing his decision not to lay off an employee earlier?
“Maybe I should have laid her off a year ago," he answered. "But the vote made it crystal-clear and made it immediate.”
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