State hid tax study while lobbying 800% beer tax

By Taxpayers Association of Oregon

The Oregonian reports that in 2021 the Oregon Health Health Authority spent $60,000 of tax dollars to study alcohol and taxes. The $60,000 study found that taxes had very little effect on alcohol consumption. The Oregon Health Authority decided to keep the results secret because it just happened to interfere with Governor Brown’s effort to raise beer, wine and cider taxes. Months prior to issuing the study, the same Heath Department was crafting a 800% alcohol tax increases.

The Oregonian notes, “… this report was never presented to lawmakers and did not get vetted for public release, said Tom Jeanne, deputy state health officer for the Oregon Health Authority.“This isn’t anything that we’re trying to hide,” Jeanne said in an interview. The report wasn’t commissioned for public consumption…”   The Health Authority gets to spend tax dollars on research and hide it from both lawmakers and taxpayers who paid for it.   This allows agencies to do political surveys and decide whether to release the data based upon if they like the results.

Instead of raising taxes, the Oregon Health Department decided to runs TV ads telling citizens that drinking wine “is not good for you”.

While the Oregon Health Authority was busy in 2021 trying raise beer taxes and hiding public information (that cost taxpayers $60,000 studies), their top Director was busy campaigning for local School Board and lost. Apparently the pandemic was big enough in 2021 to shut down Oregon businesses and shut down schools but not big enough to divert the Oregon Health Authority from creating slick television advertisements against wine and worrying about local school board politics.

This is the same Health Authority during the pandemic that decided to dress as a clown to honor Halloween as they gave their update of Covid deaths.

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