Will Capitol refer $15 Minimum Wage, Business tax to ballot?

dog-logo-stamp.serendipityThumbWill Minimum Wage, corporate tax be on 2016 ballot?
By Taxpayer Association of Oregon

One of the Capitol rumors among State Lawmakers in Salem is that the highly controversial $15 minimum wage bill (HB 2500) may be referred out to the voters for the 2016 election. In addition to a minimum wage increase there could also be a corporate tax increase. Putting such measures on the ballot is not uncommon. Already a $15 minimum wage ballot measure has been drafted for the 2016 ballot. The measure is sponsored by Local 503 SEIU. Also several business tax measures have been submitted for the 2016 ballot including a measure to increase the corporate minimum tax and another to increase income taxes on higher wage earners (over $125,000).

The strategy may be to deflect the pain of voting on such anti-business measures from the lawmakers to the voters as well as putting something on the ballot to increase voter turn-out in a key Presidential election and unusual governor election. Referring the measures to voters would save government unions from having to spend any money or time getting the measures to the ballot.

The early resignation of Kitzhaber has created unpredictability and panic among liberals who see that they could lose the Governor’s office. Also, the big government lobby needs the money. It was just 2013 when the same unions proposed seven different tax measures for the 2014 ballot but were later pulled. Increases the size of the government by double digit margins was not enough in the last budget cycle, as unions grasp for more business taxes, income taxes and plans to steal the people’s kicker. When asked State Senator Fred Girod, of the prospects of a business tax increase, he spoke with the authority of a retired small business by saying “New business taxes would be catastrophic and damaging to Oregon’s vulnerable small business economy.”