By Taxpayers Association of Oregon
The Willamette Week first reported that rural lawmakers were upset at Governor Tina Kotek for declaring a homeless State of Emergency but leaving out their counties (and nearly 70% of Oregon).
Now local County Commissioners are voicing their opinion.
KGW-TV reports, “Clatsop County has seen the highest rate of homelessness per capita in the entire state for the past eight years, and has the fourth-highest rate of unsheltered homeless residents in the country. But that’s not enough to qualify under Kotek’s executive order …County commission chair Mark Kujala said it was disappointing to see Clatsop County “kind of carved out” of the executive order.”We’ve really been left to our own devices and we’re doing all we can to combat it, but we need some assistance,” he said. Homeless residents at the Seaside camp expressed similar frustration about the omission.”That’s not right, you should declare it for the whole state, for every homeless person in the whole state,” John said. “The coast has the least resources of anybody,” added another resident, Miranda, who noted that Seaside lacks overnight shelters or warming centers. That lack of resources comes down to funding — and there would be more of it available if the region were included in the state of emergency…”A lot of people are trying to survive on part-time, low-wage seasonal jobs mainly in the hospitality industry, so all of that has created really a perfect storm of homelessness,” said Lincoln County Commissioner Claire Hall.”
This represents a long list of complaints from rural counties on being left out in Oregon.
• Kotek’s political boundary redistricting plan favored cities over rural communities and was rated among the most biased in the nation.
• Kotek helped rob rural counties of their near 100-year-old forest contract, costing rural communities tens of millions in lost tax revenue.
• Rural counties have to pay a transit payroll tax that funds transit services that only exist in cities.
• Kotek’s CAT Tax (largest tax in Oregon history) destroyed the entire Bi-Mart pharmacy chain, which was a favorite among rural Oregonians.
• Rural counties are overwhelmed with international drug cartels setting up illegal pot farms with coerced labor. Police are woefully underfunded.
• Rural counties are blocked from forming their own charter schools. They have to turn away students because the State caps statewide how many students can attend.