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Oregon Voters Handily Approve Tax Measures

Backers of two Oregon tax increases say the easy victories Tuesday night are an indication of voter support for public services.

Measure 66 will raise taxes on upper income households and Measure 67 will increase taxes on most businesses.

Both measures passed by about 54-to-46 percent.

Supporters argued the $727 million the measures will raise is needed to maintain state services such as education and public safety.

The director of the Vote Yes campaign, Kevin Looper, says in the end, voters agreed.

Kevin Looper: "This wasn't about trying to soak the rich. This was about trying to protect the middle class. And it is the case that you have to ask those who can afford to, to pay a little more in order to do that. But these taxes were not a huge burden to be asking for those who can afford to, to cover. And I think most of them understood that."

Supporters and opponents raised more than $13 million, making this one of the costliest ballot measure campaigns in Oregon history.

Public employee unions contributed the bulk of the money to the Vote Yes campaign, and business groups ponied up much of the cash on the Vote No side.