Voter Rights Rollback!

New Democratic Majority makes erasing 20 years of voter approved ballot measure their top agenda!
By the Taxpayer Association

Raiding the People’s Kicker Law
Twice voters approved Oregon’s kicker tax refund law, yet Governor Kulongoski signed HB 2707 which raids $300 million of the business kicker tax refund. SB 819 changes the kicker formula to reward kicker refunds to Oregonians who don’t pay taxes. SB 26 changes the kicker forecast formula so that most of the refund is returned to government. The Taxpayer Association exposed the folly of the kicker raid by revealing that government is already growing at 14% without new taxes.

Gutting Measure 37 Property Rights Law
Voters twice approved landowner compensation. The House passed HB 3540 which guts Measure 37 by extending compensation only to the smallest of landowner properties cases. Commercial and multiple home landowners who lost millions in value have their Measure 37 protections stripped and will likely get nothing. HB 3540 also allows the most populous residential region, the entire Metro area, to be exempted. HB 3540 also allows government to take up to 25% of your property value without compensation. Taxpayer Association attacked the bill for depriving landowners who were victimized financially the most (just so government can save money).

Weakening the People’s Double Majority Law
Three times voters have approved Oregon’s double majority law, yet the House passed HJR 14 which makes it easier for local governments to pass tax increases. TAO testified in committee that government shouldn’t be passing tax increases in “surprise” off-year elections when voter turn out is small.

Pushing a Sales Tax Without Voter Participation
Voters have rejected a sales tax nine times, yet the House is working on a 5% sales tax increase. The politicians are selling HB 2530 with property and income tax relief, but the hidden fine print reveals a billion dollars in total new taxes.
The politicians are aiming to pass the tax without voter approval and without locking the sales rate into the constitution (so they can raise it later). Taxpayer Association was the only organization in the Senate Committee that opposed the bill.

Repealing Measure 5 Property Tax Limits
Voters approved property tax limits with Measure 5, yet the House is trying to bust the limits with HJR 45. Don McIntire, the co-author of Measure 5 and Taxpayer Association president, testified against the bill stating that property ownership is the linchpin of a free society and must not be overtaxed.

A Gas Tax Increase
Voters twice rejected a gas tax, yet the House is trying to pass HB 2653 a 5-cent gas tax increase. Taxpayer Association opposed the bill pointing out that Oregon just hit record high gas prices last April.

Handicapping Petition Rights:
The House passed HB 2082 which makes it twice as hard to qualify a measure for the ballot. Instead of sorting petitions by 36 counties, HB 2082 requires you to sort by 20,000 different petition circulator names. HB 2082 empowers the Secretary of State to approve all petition employees before they can gather signatures.

HB 2082 sets up a collection of new rules and high penalties. Failure to comply allows the state to eliminate thousands of legitimate signature names off your petitions. Already a petition drive can lose 20,000 legitimate signature names to such minor technicalities. Liberals cannot stop people from signing petitions, but they can invent new ways to delete signatures and, in effect, shut down petition operations. The Taxpayer Association has been sounding the alarm on the secret attack on our petition rights.

Don’t Forget the Miscellaneous Taxes:
Capitol hearings have been held to raise vehicle title fees by 300% (HB 2496); double vehicle registration fees (HB 3018); doubling certain real estate fees (HB 3258). Ironically, some of the new home taxes will be paying for government’s affordable housing programs. The Taxpayer Association testified that housing permit/fees already add up to nearly $30,000 of the price of a new home making home ownership impossible for many.

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Taxpayer Association of Oregon
PO Box 23573 Tigard

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