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Prominent Oregon Property Tax Activist Passes Away

A prominent outspoken Oregon anti-tax tax activist has died of a suspected heart attack. 74-year-old Don McIntire was found Friday morning in his Gresham home.

McIntire was best known for his work on Measure 5. The controversial 1990 initiative capped property taxes and led to a dramatic shift in the way public schools are funded in Oregon.

Critics blame the measure for subsequent cuts in classroom spending. But supporters hailed it as a landmark protection for taxpayers.

Steve Buckstein is founder of the Libertarian-leaning Cascade Policy Institute in Portland. He got to know McIntire when the two worked together on a property tax initiative in the late 70s.

“He was really in it for all the right reasons,” Buckstein says. “He really believed that government was too big, that people should have more freedom, that taxes were too high in Oregon. And he was always looking for ways to improve on that.”

McIntire was politically active right up until the end. He tried to get a measure on this year’s statewide ballot that would have prevented lawmakers in most cases from raising gas taxes without voter approval.

On the Web:

Steve Buckstein’s tribute to Don McIntire

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