Bob Clark – A Happy Taxpayer Association of Oregon Volunteer
I am grateful for my fellow Portland citizens who are showing resistance to City Commissioner Novick and Mayor Hales’ collectivist-like efforts at invoking a new city income tax. The surest way to prevent Hayek’s Road to Serfdom is for each of us to be skeptical, and not simply follow the spin of those who support an ever expanding slant towards collectivism. Novick and Hales continue to repeat a lie about their skeptics when they say to reporters: We are waiting for a counter proposal (to their proposal for a new City income tax).
The good citizens who took time to present public testimony at Portland City Council a week ago presented a number of different counter proposals. Economist Robert McCullough, for instance, presented a good case for a gasoline tax. Another gent, presented the Chicago style parking star purchase. These are user fees. There is also raising the priority of street repair and safety in Portland’s budgeting process mentioned by economics professor Eric Fruits (using existing, growing tax revenues).
Instead we get told by Hales and Novick to accept one of the more intrusive of funding schemes, a new city income tax, requiring hundreds of thousands of citizens to file their income tax filings with the City. Even poor folk, must file to be exempted. By contrast a gasoline tax is collected by a few hundred gasoline/diesel retailers in an already routinized, existing system. Increasing parking fees and meters would also use an existing, routinized system.
With user fees (tied to for instance gasoline/diesel, mileage, parking activity), if you don’t pay, maybe you get your car impounded; or have to find an alternative means of commuting. But with a city income tax, maybe you, yourself get impounded or harassed by a collection agency. So, Novick and Hales effectively are supporting the expansion of government force, including possible jail time or blocking access to one’s savings/checking accounts.
There are good reasons why most all cities do not have their own income tax. Yet Novick and Hales seek to bypass citizen voters and enact their street funding income tax scheme by simple Council majority.