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- A tumblr site dedicated to the people and places that make up Oregon and Southwest Washington.
Oregon's tax structure has been un-balanced and un-stable since the initiative process capped property taxes and passed the burden to the general fund in the early 1990s. While wrapped in the cloak of populism, the net result of the initiatives changed the relative share of tax burden from 60/40 business to individuals to roughly 40/60. These initiatives were designed to benefit Oregon's largest property owning businesses at the expense of the middle class. Schools and services were gutted, parks and police were starved, and the Oregon Legislature was handcuffed in solving structural revenue problems.
Oregon's business climate can not be improved by confiscatory taxation, but it also can not thrive in a low tax/low service model where workers add little or no value to the products and services we sell to others.
Tax reform is required that will be based on stability and fair progressivity. We can do this by eliminating the kicker in favor of a true reserve, repealing the property tax caps and replacing them with a Homestead exemption, and adding a balanced consumption tax to offset high income taxes.
Phil Knight opined that Oregon has lost it's major employers (banks, forest products, and retail) due to conficatory taxes. Oregon's business tax burden is among the lowest in the country. I would offer that the mergers and consolidations that cost Oregon it's crown jewells of headquartered business had little to do with taxation, and more to do with loosened anti-trust enforcement. Oregon should not participate in this compeitive race to the bottom.
The hard work is ahead of us. We need to have the political will to overcome the monied interests that will resist any effort to reform the tax system. We can have a vibrant economy, quality public schools, and compassionate services for the frail.
posted 3 years, 3 months ago
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