Newspaper picks up on successful taxpayer revolt in Oregon small towns

Read here.Here below are some highlights from the Oregonian on the great works of Dan Phegley, Don McIntire, Taxpayer Association of Oregon, Americans for Prosperity and Oregonians In Action; Read here.

Anti-tax advocates quietly roll out new statewide strategy

By Dana Tims, The Oregonian
January 18, 2010, 7:52PM

Damascus resident Dan Phegley is working with statewide anti-tax groups to limit government spending in his tiny Clackamas County town. Activists hope to place similar initiatives before voters in a dozen other small Oregon towns this year. Oregon’s leading anti-tax activists are quietly rolling out a new strategy to limit government by partnering with frustrated small-town residents across the state… Groups such as Americans for Prosperity Oregon, Oregonians in Action and Don McIntire’s Taxpayer Association of Oregon are working in Damascus, Estacada, Cascade Locks and elsewhere to win the tax fight city by city. By the end of the year, they hope to have a spending cap similar to one that Oregon voters rejected in 2006 on at least a dozen small-town ballots…” More highlights

Damascus: Four anti-tax initiatives will be on the March ballot. Two of the measures — prohibiting light rail in Damascus without vote and limiting the city’s ability to use emergency clauses to speed new ordinances — wouldn’t have much immediate effect. The other two would ban spending increases of more than 2.5 percent from the prior year and require voter approval of intergovernmental agreements. Damascus uses such agreements to provide such basic services as law enforcement, code compliance, inspections and issuance of building and planning permits. Damascus voters previously approved measures to prohibit development and utility-franchise fees.

Cascade Locks: Voters approved a tax-limitation in November 2008 that limited fee increases without a public vote and rolled back fees for streetlights and penalties for late payment of utility bills.

Voters approved a November measure requiring public votes for any new taxes and fees and for increases above three percent of any existing taxes. Anti-tax groups say they will consider filing new initiatives if the city proposes an urban renewal district to boost downtown redevelopment.