By Taxpayers Association of Oregon
There are dozens of small local ballot measures around Oregon (and 100 school board races) for the May Special Election.
Here are some highlights:
• Multnomah wants their own capital gains tax (26-238): Having created their own County income tax, their own County car registration tax ($61/year), and having nearly maxed out Constitutionally allowable county property tax rates, it was only a matter of time that Multnomah County would need to create their own Capital Gains Tax. Measure 26-238 is a Capital Gains tax to pay for lawyers to help people sue their landowners. It will cost nearly $7 million in administrative costs just to collect the $12 million expected revenue. Taxpayers Association of Oregon opposes the measure and their opposition can be seen twice in the County Voters Pamphlet.
• Newberg ban homeless camps near schools (36-228): Measure 36-228 requires that public city tax money cannot be used to place a homeless shelter/camp, etc. within 1500 feet of our local schools. The fact that citizens and families need to pass a ballot measure to protect themselves like this, shows how out-of-control the homeless problem has become.
Here is an example of how Portland let homeless camp near a school.
• Ashland’s 5% food & beverage tax extension (15-214). The food and beverage tax was started in Ashland decades ago as a temporary way to buy new park land. The tax didn’t accomplish its mission and end on time because the mission kept changing as politicians kept inventing new ways to spend taxpayers money. Taxing tourism right now is different than in the 1990’s when the tax was created. Oregon tourism has recovered worse than the rest of the nation. Ashland’s crown jewel, the Shakespeare Festival, is pleading for a $5 million dollar bailout to survive.
• Bend’s 280% tax increase (9-158): By one estimate, this tax levy is 280% increase from the existing levy. It is being criticized for putting $14 million of the revenue into a more miscellaneous, undefined funding category which makes it easier for politicians to spend and less accountable for citizens to track.
• Eugene’s property tax for parks (20-343): By not enforcing the law, Eugene has allowed homeless encampments to grow out-of-control causing extensive damage to our parks. As a result, Eugene wants to keep their local property taxes high to pay for the damage that the politicians’ policies caused. It is better for Eugene to fix the problem first, rather than to keep asking for a tax bailout from taxpayers.
Actual Eugene homeless camp next to unenforced no-camping sign.
Here is the Taxpayers Association of Oregon Voters Guide for the May 2023 Special Election:
Deschutes – NO on 9-158 – 3% Bend Property tax increase (fire dist.)
Deschutes – NO on 9-160 – Sisters property tax hike for parks
Jackson – NO on 15-214 – Ashland food & beverage tax
Lane – NO on 20-343 – Eugene property tax for parks
Multnomah – NO on 26-238 – County capital gains Tax
Washington – NO on 34-323 – Sherwood property Tax
Yamhill – NO on 36-227 – McMinnville new city fire dist.
Yamhill – YES on 36-228 – Newberg ban homeless camps near schools
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