Lane County Tax Afterthoughts

Below is a message from the We Said No PAC which helped lead the effort to defeat the Lane County Income Tax by 71% this week:

The We Said No PAC would like to say they have been victorious in the defeat of Measure 20-129, but to us that victory is nothing more than bittersweet. The sweet comes from the pride we feel toward the citizens of Lane County for staying strong in their belief that taxation of the masses should be approved by the masses”¦not just a few. The sweet comes from the fact that we couldn’t have done this without the unconditional support of the families, the endless volunteer hours provided and all the $20, $50 and $100 checks from those who believed in this effort.

The bitter was vehemently displayed in the nasty, shortsighted, hurtful things that came of this effort. The PAC learned valuable and costly lessons regarding the rules of politics, advertising, and staying politically correct while trying to beat the enemy at their own game. An effort that began as a “call to arms” for the citizens that live here quickly became a race for personal survival by those taking up the fight.
The bitter comes from those arrogant enough to now take it out on the very citizens that voted them into office by closing parks, laying off workers and shutting down services when there were and still are better ways. They have conceded to having one more task force look at the budget”¦suggestions they have in the past and will most likely in the future turn a deaf ear to. We sincerely hope there can be a meeting of the minds on this issue, but this PAC, and we believe better than 71% of Lane County citizens, still feel strongly about sending the message that the spending of this county needs to be curbed.

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  • John Fairplay

    For the entire history of this nation – even in the time before it was a nation – those who have stood in the way of naked government power have been punished by that very government for their audacity. In many cases, these patriots took a bullet, in others, they lost only a home or livelihood. The signatories of our founding document, the Declaration of Independence, recognized what they were letting themselves in for, and pledged “our Lives, our Fortunes and our Sacred Honor” to the cause of freedom.

    Lane County patriots can expect to be vilified by their local media, but should take heart in knowing they are closer to the people than the editors of the Register-Guard. Lane County patriots can expect to be harangued by their local elected officials, who have forgotten that they are supposed to represent the will of the people, but should be thankful that the next election is only a short time away. Lane County patriots can expect to be haunted by government union thugs who are woefully out of touch with the very people they serve, but should take comfort in knowing they work for us – even if they never seem to remember.

    Lane County Government knows how to “really make it hurt” to borrow a phrase from an upcoming movie. They will always reduce “services” that impact the greatest number of productive citizens. Look on it as a test of strength. Call out the government when it acts against the interests of the very citizens it is elected to represent. Know that your fight is ancient and most importantly that when you stand on these battlements, you stand shoulder-to-shoulder with American patriots stretching back to before the founding of the very nation in which we live.

  • eagle eye

    These armchair summer patriots with their preposterous “call to arms” should be ashamed comparing a minor tax vote in Lane County to the actions and sacrifices of real patriots, who even now are suffering and dying in real wars.

    • Steve Plunk

      Eagle,

      Many of us know there is a war going on but we also recognize that life goes on here at home. John’s history lesson is appropriate in it’s context.

      While this may seem a “minor tax vote” it is no less important than participating in a local school board meeting or city council meeting. These are all still important functions that citizens must attend to.

      Tax proponents certainly made it seem important before the vote so I don’t understand your discounting of it afterwards.

      Patriots take many forms not just soldiers in the field.

      • eagel eye

        I agree that the tax vote is as important as the other local civic functions.

        What got me going was the “call to arms” and “race for personal survival” and “taking up the fight” business.

        And then there’s the post above mine by Fairplay.

  • Jerry

    If you can’t do the easy things, the hard things are impossible.
    Congrats patriots.

  • believeitornot

    Citizens can govern themselves without resorting proagandic messaging no matter where we are on the broad spectrum. Manipulating opinion with the use of words like “call to arms” and “patiots” is distortion pure and cynical.

    This website is an example of fine-tuning and manipulation, by leaving out facts, designing messages for those who limit themselves to one point of view, always attempting to leverage control of their readers.

    Many of us read all points of view, shifting our opinions based on reasoning, truthful facts, and logic.

    • Steve Plunk

      BioN,

      Rhetoric and propaganda have a long history in American politics. Inflaming emotions is how you get good voter turnout. I’ve heard terms like “a call to arms” used around school issues and I’ve heard Medford referred to as an “Appalachia of the west” because of our library closure.

      The key here is for the voter/citizen to sort through both messages and come to a conclusion. That is how we inject reasoning and logic. I think overall it works pretty well.

      It is tempting to look for irrational reasons why ones electoral preferences failed to carry the day. Sometimes it just a simple difference in values. Nothing sinister, nothing dishonest.

    • CRAWDUDE

      Please, you are not objective and free flowing on any issue . You have never stated anything but the socialist party line in your posts.

      Saying that you “read all points of view, shifting our opinions based on reasoning, truthful facts, and logic” is almost as funny as a “No New Taxes” person from Lane county thinking they are a patriot for not voting for the tax.

  • believeitornot

    Fact: An idea, repeated endlessly, is that there is a way to have the kind of communities we want without paying for them.

    Fact: Voters are not ready to address the budget crisis at the federal level. In Jackson County the libraries were the first on the chopping block. In Josephine County public safety is now one patrol car for the whole county.

    Fact:
    Because of the dangerous amount of debt run up in the past 7 years by the feds, communities can no longer depend on the federal government for long term security.

    Fact: Senator Gordon Smith is a flip-flopper.

    Fact: Representative Greg Walden voted against tax breaks for small businessesm and against negotiating with drug companies to lower drug prices and against the repeal of tax cuts for oil companies.

    • Steve Plunk

      BioN,

      Sir, read your own post. You present opinions rather than facts. Now we are all entitled to our own opinions but not our own facts. Each of your assertion can be countered with other opinions based in fact.

      The Jackson county libraries were not the first on the chopping block. Many county services are scheduled to be reduced. I am on the county roads committee and have seen firsthand the planned 30% across the board reductions. The library in fact has money in the bank and has been paying it’s people while closing it’s doors to the public. They chose to close instead doing the rational thing of reducing services in an orderly manner.

      The latter part of your post becomes little more than a partisan rant instead of staying on topic. Certainly that is opinion, not fact.

      Drug companies price differently in different countries in order to meet demand and recoup investment. A price mix is something I learned in my cost accounting class and we wouldn’t want to price drugs out of range for countries like Mexico would we?

      Oil company profits are miniscule compared to the “profits” of the governments who control the oil. Even in the United Sates the government (federal, state, local) makes more money off a gallon of gas than the oil companies. Should we talk about reducing or limiting oil taxes?

      Many of us here would like to talk facts and we do talk facts but you have not given any. I respect your opinion but I also differ. We could attack each others motives but that would lead no where in trying to understand the issues. The voters have exercised a basic right of those who consent to being governed, limiting taxes is one of the only direct forms of government management we have.

  • CRAWDUDE

    Once again, you’re showing your true colors! Walden is the only GOP Rep. we have in Oregon and you blame him but none of the DNC reps………….and they control the House!

    You mention Smith the GOP Senator in a durogatory way (not sure what your point was) but fail to mention Wyden the DNC senator……..and they control the Senate!

    DNC senators just came up with an amnesty program for criminal who are in this country illegally…………that’ll cost this country much more than a few tax breaks for legal businesses.Heck, BION you want to see tax breaks look at what Intel, HP and NIKE get compared to other companies. You aren’t objective! You are biased with your opinion, at least have the decency to recognize it.

    I don’t try to say I’m odjective about many issues, it’s called having an opinion. I try to read and listen as much as possible but in the end my opinion is the result. You want people to think you have some superior intellect because you feel you think all things through; you don’t, your above post shows your bias.

    At least be honest with yourself man.

  • Godspeed

    “Fact: An idea, repeated endlessly, is that there is a way to have the kind of communities we want without paying for them.”

    I think you have this a bit wrong. I have heard people say we would like to have the kind of communities we want without getting absolutely hosed on the cost. Oregonians pay top dollar for their government, but I’m not sure very many people believe we are getting the best government possible for what we are paying.

    I would be interested in your posting links to articles/blogs, etc where someone has been advocating for government to provide programs, but for the people involved to not be charged anything for them. Please don’t provide links to information wherein people are asking to pay less then them are paying, but where they are advocating they should pay nothing, which your statement indicates is a “fact.”

    • Top Dollar?

      “Oregonians pay top dollar for their government”

      Top dollar?! With property taxes at $0.50 to $0.75 per $1000, and when the national average is around $2.50 to $3.00 per $1000, how can you possibly call that paying top dollar for government?

      When the state corporate minimum tax is $10, the same amount it has been since the 1930’s, that’s paying top dollar?

      A state that has no sales tax, no vehicle tax and the asinine “kicker” tax refund law, pays top dollar for its government?

      Surely you jest!

      • Joe

        The national county property tax rate might seems low but that’s just because we are only allowed to tax a property so much in total. The county can’t tax anymore because the cities are already taxing the property at an extremely high level.

        Property tax rate: Real Property tax rate for the city of Eugene is $5 to $10 per $1,000 assessed valuation (2005)(https://www.city-data.com/us-cities/The-West/Eugene-Economy.html)

        This is typical of the way the oregon government skews their data. 20 million out of a 500 million dollar budget is not 30%. It’s only 30% of the money you haven’t decided what to do with yet (General fund)

  • baldeagle

    Hey Top Dollar! Just wait until you read more from hpyerventilating hard-liners who approach the political reality of today with only one message. That message is no compromise. Which means some valid viewpoints will never be heard. Looking forward to the fury over today’s immigration amnesty Bill. Prepare to be called “superior” ohhh bad bad, a socialist..what ever the hell that is…..oh, while you dumping $60 bucks in your gas tank thank Walden for supporting the big oil companies while making “miniscule” profits..Ha!

  • Marvin McConoughey

    The Lane County income tax defeat is only one of five county tax defeats on the same day. That larger story of citizen tax rejection hints that citizens are feeling financially pinched. Causes might include major housing cost increases, hiking of variable rate mortgages, rising gasoline, gas, and fuel oil prices, and the decline of defined benefit pension plans. Lots of people who are not financially destitute still wonder how they can manage to save enough for a dignified retirement.

    Government service does not pay lavishly, but it still pays better than the jobs held by many taxpayers. The Lane County tax rejection may have simply reflected the growing financial pressures on voters.

    Subjectively, I was a bit surprised at the poor political skills of Lane County commissioners. Numerous public suggestions made for reform were either ignored or rejected. I recalled the General Motors attitude during the rise of foreign auto imports when reform suggestions were rejected for decades despite mounting woes.

    The income tax rejection will prompt reexamination of how county revenues are raised and spent. That conversation is timely and should be embraced by both opponents and supporters of Tuesday’s county tax rejections.