Public only allowed 60 sec. to testify at Capitol tax hearings

Taxpayer Association of Oregon

Last week, the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources held a public hearing on three different timber tax bills.

Yet, the public was limited to only 60 seconds to voice their opinion on the bills.

That is three large and very different tax bills, all required public to limit their input to less than 60 seconds.

The public is already blocked from entering the Capitol (respectively due to the pandemic), and now they are being blocked from speaking their mind by limiting their testimony.  Major bills that could close timber mills or hurt rural towns struggling from the wildfires/pandemic/shutdown are being reduced to speed-dating type rushed hearings.

The fact that so many people want to testify is a sign that the bills are dangerous and harmful.   Politicians should not use the importance of the bills as a reason to reduce public involvement but rather increase public involvement.   The Committee needs to extend the time to accommodate citizens wishing to speak their mind.

This new 60 second rule is half of the traditional time for major bills, which is two minutes.

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