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Proposed Tax Increases in Eugene and Baker County

Pete Springer/OPB

Should taxes be increased to pay for schools? That’s something that voters in Baker County and Eugene are asking themselves. Here’s what’s happening.

In Baker County, a proposed levy — the highest cost per individual property owner on the state ballot at $2.26 per $1,000 — would raise $3.6 million in five years for Baker School District. The levy has some support in community members and the Baker City Herald editorial board. The district’s superintendent says the levy is necessary to preserve jobs, supplies and other programs. But organizers admit that raising taxes in this economy is dicey.

Meanwhile in Eugene a measure in front of voters that would impose a temporary income tax to help fund schools within the Eugene and Bethel school districts. Eugene residents with taxable income of $60,000 would see their taxes increase by about $450. There’s little debate about whether or not schools need the money, but opponents of the measure think it’s unfair and too expensive. Supporters argue that the income tax is necessary to help the school districts fill the gap left by state budget cuts. The measure would raise approximately $16.8 million every year for the next four years.

Do you live in Baker County? Where do you stand on the school levy?

Are you voting in Eugene? How will you vote on the proposed income tax?

2011 election eugene income tax rural economy school

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OPB | Broadcast: May 11, 2011