By Taxpayers Association of Oregon
Cell tax: The $50 million cell tax HB 2757, passed the Senate and House. It is a tax to pay for suicide prevention but is estimated to be 500% over-cost, so politicians can manipulate a good cause in order to bring in more tax dollars than they need.
Education spending: The biennial education budget came in at $10.7 billion, not far from a billion dollar increase despite the fact that Oregon schools have lost 35,000 students. Schools are getting the near-billion increase even though there is less to teach as Oregon graduation requirements were dramatically lowered a few years ago.
Massive enviro-mandate bill: HB 3409-3 bill passed both House and Senate and gives power to several agencies to enact new regulations over home/commercial construction/transportation projects along with the power to fine and some the power to raise fees. This was a 112-page amendment stuffed into a half-page bill. This type of expansion of state agency power is what Governor Brown abused when she on her own enacted bureaucratic rules to increase the cost of gasoline and increase the cost of building a home by mandating what appliances could be put into a new home. These are major decisions being made by unelected bureaucrats.
Big waste bill passes: SB 5506-1 passed both chambers. The big spending bill which includes $450 million in government raises, a combined $600,000 to study prostitution, millions for free lawyers for non-citizens and a half million for a controversial environmental UofO Institute.
Ranked choice voting sent to voters: Lawmakers sent a measure to voters (November 2024 election) asking them to vote on allowing rank voting for certain statewide and federal offices. Rank voting is where you rank-out your choice of multiple candidates. Sadly, this rank voting scheme ends up decreasing voter turn-out, delaying election results, diluting your single vote for your candidate and causing rampant confusion among voters. Read more.
More rent control — after the 2019 Rent Control Bill caused rent to spike. SB 611 has passed both the House and Senate. When the Legislature first passed rent control in 2019, landlords out of fear raised their rents. Some landlords left the industry altogether resulting in a large drop in available rental units, which then caused (you guessed it) rents to increase. The law pushed some mom-and-pop landlords to move to professional rental services to help them navigate Oregon’s and Portland’s new complex mandates, and this drove up the cost of rents. Also inflation happened, (caused in part by the Federal government spending trillions) which caused rents to increase. Now comes Senate Bill 611 which limits rent increases even more. If only in 2019 the Legislature would have read the 2018 Brookings Institute report, “While rent control appears to help current tenants in the short run, in the long run it decreases affordability, fuels gentrification, and creates negative spillovers on the surrounding neighborhood.”
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