The looming Oregon budget crisis
By Dan Lucas
Candidate for House Dist 27
There’s a storm brewing. A $4.3 billion budget storm. Next year’s legislature is going to have to tackle a massive budget crisis. Increasing state worker payroll costs (including PERS), declining income tax revenues (due to our continuing high unemployment), coupled with the insatiable demands for money coming from Oregon’s government-run health care expansion are going to put extreme pressure on the legislature to make huge spending cuts and/or huge tax increases.
It will create significant, inherent conflict between opposite interests: public employee unions and their allies on the one hand, and personal and business taxpayers on the other. The public employee unions and their allies will likely pursue the same sources of revenue and methods that were employed in the YES on Measures 66 & 67 campaign – only this $4.3 billion shortfall is six times the tax increases for Measures 66 & 67.