Sen. Bonham: Court politics, property tax alert, more…

By State Senator Daniel Bonham,

“There is No Justice in a Political Court”

Two weeks ago, the Oregon Supreme Court unanimously sided with Oregon Democrats to overlook the actual voted-upon text of Measure 113, and denied ten Republicans from serving in their next term. See my remonstrance here.

No matter your views, political courts should concern you. And now there is a precedent. This is the first time ever that the Oregon Supreme Court has straight up said “This is what we think voters meant” in a situation where the text is unambiguous.

It didn’t even take a full year for Measure 113 to be used as a tool to silence opposition. More to come on next steps, stay tuned.

Remembering Why

In 2023, our Legislature lost its way. Instead of solving very real problems for our residents such as affordability, the growing fentanyl and drug crisis, rising crime and decreasing quality of life – those in control insisted on introducing policies that bred division.

The tipping point issue for me was the 2023 priority of Oregon Democrats – to deny parents knowledge of transgender and abortion procedures for their children as young as 14, in favor of state control and knowledge.

To me, this was extreme. I know I am not alone. Using all tools available to stand up to extremism is exactly what voters in my district elected me to do.

Do Not Increase the Property Tax… We Need Relief

This week the Legislature decided to throw up a trial balloon – with a hearing on HJR 201, a measure that would remove constitutionally protected property tax limits and eliminate local control of property taxes by imposing a new statewide property tax model.

Simply put, Oregon is already expensive enough. According to the 2023 Cost of Living Index from The Council for Community and Economic Research, the cost of living in Oregon is already 16% higher than the national average.

The government already takes more than enough of our hard-earned tax dollars, and I will always oppose any measure introduced with the intention of taking more. The disingenuous argument of funding needs is a false narrative pushed by bureaucrats. We do not have a funding problem in Oregon, we have a spending problem.

The good news is — our Oregonians showed up. After calls to action, over 1,270 spoke in opposition to the measure. This hearing showed that our residents are paying attention and was a powerful reminder to our officials of who they work for – the people of Oregon. We are not out of the woods yet, since the bill had a hearing it can be brought up for a vote at any point.

MEANWHILE, I introduced SJR 202, to provide property tax RELIEF for seniors. It is measures like this, not HJR 201, that help make lives better and easier. Shouldn’t that be our goal?