PERS recipients exempt from proposed Eugene income tax

by Suzanne Penegor and Jennifer Solomon

Family wage timber jobs are the solution to stable school funding – not new taxes

In the middle of this recession, Oregon voters are being asked again to foot new taxes – again for schools. It’s hard to believe just 13 months ago voters passed Measures 66 and 67. Both taxes (one was even retroactive!) were promised to solve the state’s school funding and budget issues. Together, both taxes were said to raise $737 million in new money for schools and other state programs.

It turns out that nothing could have been further from the truth. Where exactly is that $737 million?

Now, Oregon cities such as Eugene are faced with the prospect of new punitive taxes to pay for schools. The state teachers’ union, the most powerful lobby in Oregon, is out there telling voters they just need to pay more taxes in order to have good schools.

It’s a broken record.

In Eugene, voters will decide this May whether to raise taxes an estimated $16.8 million via an income tax on residents for the operation of schools. There is no discussion of whether to try to find cost savings in school bureaucracies, or even discussion of better using our existing tax base, such as cutting timber to provide jobs and tax dollars to our local schools from public lands.  Instead, voters are subjected to a guilt trip and a chance to hand over yet more of their hard-earned income to the government.

Governor Kitzhaber says he’s going to put together a task force to work on the state’s education funding problem, but the teachers’ union doesn’t want to wait if they can get another tax.  Kitzhaber should also be looking at ways to use our abundant renewable resource – timber – to finance our public schools as it has in the past.

The proposed Eugene city income tax isn’t fair  because an estimated 24 percent of Eugene School District students reside outside the city limits, which means their parents wouldn’t have to pay the new tax.  In addition, PERS recipients are exempt from this new proposed city tax.

Instead of raising taxes in tough times, Oregon cities should be making it more desirable to locate in Oregon and bring in new businesses and jobs for Oregonians.  Instead, all the teachers’ union and local governments want to do is add more and more taxes to increase the tax burden on those of us who live here.  Not much of an incentive to stay.

There is a better solution.  It’s time to use our renewable natural resources as we have in the past to provide Oregonians with family wage jobs and to provide our schools with the funding that we need for good education.  Raising taxes or creating new taxes is not the answer in tough economic times.  Wise use of our existing tax base would again provide us with funding for critical services such as education and public safety.

 

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  • DonD

    Wait, wait, wait, wait……PERS recipients are trying to get a better deal than other people? I just can’t believe that……

  • Britt Storkson

    One of the reasons we have high taxes is because certain privileged people don’t pay them thereby shifting the cost on to other, less fortunate people. If we’re going to have a tax then everybody should pay the same rate.

    • conservatively speaking

      NOt forgotten: Multnomah County’s I-Tax exemption granted PERS residents.

    • conservatively speaking

      NOt forgotten: Multnomah County’s I-Tax exemption granted PERS residents.

  • Americans for Prosperity’s Lane County Chapter is running a vigorous grassroots campaign against this truly terrible idea. If you’d like to get involved, sign up at http://www.FightBackOregon.com

  • Americans for Prosperity’s Lane County Chapter is running a vigorous grassroots campaign against this truly terrible idea. If you’d like to get involved, sign up at http://www.FightBackOregon.com

  • Americans for Prosperity’s Lane County Chapter is running a vigorous grassroots campaign against this truly terrible idea. If you’d like to get involved, sign up at http://www.FightBackOregon.com

  • Rupert in Springfield

    To get an idea of how this tax would work all one needs to do is take a drive through Eugene. Does it feel like you are driving in downtown Beirut? Yes, those do appear to be ruts from IED’s and mortar rounds don’t they?

    Isn’t there a state gas tax to pay for this?

    You bet there is, but for Eugene it wasn’t enough, they passed an additional gas tax to fix the roads.

    But wasn’t that tax enough? Why are the roads so bad?

    I don’t know. No one knows in fact. So Eugene passed another gas tax.

    Well didn’t that fix the roads?

    Nope.

    Ok – so tax upon tax upon tax and Eugene still cant get a couple of guys out with a bucket of asphalt

    Now Eugene is set to pass an additional tax to fund schools. What a laugh.

    The exemption of PERS recipients is just the icing on the cake and crystallizes the problem in Oregon with a lucidity of the finest of optical glass – We have two classes of people, the public employees who receive every perk and benefit society can provide and everyone else who has to pay for it.

    My offer to fund a massive rope purchase still stands.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    To get an idea of how this tax would work all one needs to do is take a drive through Eugene. Does it feel like you are driving in downtown Beirut? Yes, those do appear to be ruts from IED’s and mortar rounds don’t they?

    Isn’t there a state gas tax to pay for this?

    You bet there is, but for Eugene it wasn’t enough, they passed an additional gas tax to fix the roads.

    But wasn’t that tax enough? Why are the roads so bad?

    I don’t know. No one knows in fact. So Eugene passed another gas tax.

    Well didn’t that fix the roads?

    Nope.

    Ok – so tax upon tax upon tax and Eugene still cant get a couple of guys out with a bucket of asphalt

    Now Eugene is set to pass an additional tax to fund schools. What a laugh.

    The exemption of PERS recipients is just the icing on the cake and crystallizes the problem in Oregon with a lucidity of the finest of optical glass – We have two classes of people, the public employees who receive every perk and benefit society can provide and everyone else who has to pay for it.

    My offer to fund a massive rope purchase still stands.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    To get an idea of how this tax would work all one needs to do is take a drive through Eugene. Does it feel like you are driving in downtown Beirut? Yes, those do appear to be ruts from IED’s and mortar rounds don’t they?

    Isn’t there a state gas tax to pay for this?

    You bet there is, but for Eugene it wasn’t enough, they passed an additional gas tax to fix the roads.

    But wasn’t that tax enough? Why are the roads so bad?

    I don’t know. No one knows in fact. So Eugene passed another gas tax.

    Well didn’t that fix the roads?

    Nope.

    Ok – so tax upon tax upon tax and Eugene still cant get a couple of guys out with a bucket of asphalt

    Now Eugene is set to pass an additional tax to fund schools. What a laugh.

    The exemption of PERS recipients is just the icing on the cake and crystallizes the problem in Oregon with a lucidity of the finest of optical glass – We have two classes of people, the public employees who receive every perk and benefit society can provide and everyone else who has to pay for it.

    My offer to fund a massive rope purchase still stands.

  • Steve Plunk

    The PERS exemption is but another example of the public sector seeing itself as a distinct class of citizens not part of the general populace. They see themselves as special and expect special treatment.

    Rupert asks why the potholes can’t be fixed in Eugene? There’s no glory in mundane repairs. Transportation officials would much rather spend money designing a transit oriented community or writing a plan to get people out of their cars into buses or working with a consultant (and likely future employer) on a 50 year facilities plan. Potholes? Who wants to work on potholes?

    • Rupert in Springfield

      >There’s no glory in mundane repairs.

      Quite true. Eugene has recently installed lots of very artistic bus shelters and has just gone ga ga over massive articulated buses with dedicated lanes installed at great expense.

      Of course no one rides these smog belching behemoths that make even Al Gores carbon footprint seem positively paltry by comparison, but that doesn’t stop them from putting them in. Half the city is almost in near riot of extension of these MX buses as they are called. (MX stands for Massive Exodus, referring to the ungodly amounts of money sucked down by these things)

      It’s weird, when you cross the border from Springfield into Eugene it is almost at the point where you have to switch to four wheel drive.

      • valley person

        Wait a minute Rupert. Aren’t you the one who complains about clean running trains all the time? Now you are complaining about buses?

        And Springfield is in better shape than Eugene? That is news.

        • Steve Plunk

          Read the post please. The complaint is one of priorities. Your nonsense is so very annoying.

          • Guest

            That’s the point. It’s a textbook liberal tactic to devalue a blog – fill it up with annoying BS.

        • Rupert in Springfield

          >And Springfield is in better shape than Eugene? That is news.

          No its not news you idiot. Its the subject of the article you are commenting on. Eugene having to put in an income tax because they cant pay for their schools.

          Got it now? That’s what the article is about, that’s what you are commenting on. So no, it is not news at all that Springfield is in better shape.

          Ok – So now the blog fool knows what the hell he is commenting on.

          Other things that have been national or statewide news that you missed, and thus think its news Springfield is in better shape than Eugene:

          Springfield rather famously managed to get Eugene’s last hospital to move here from Eugene a few years back. This was state wide news. you missed it.

          It was also national news that Eugene was one of the few places where violent crime increased last year, in Springfield it didn’t. In fact, violent crime has been on the increase in Eugene since 2005. Again, you missed it because you are essentially a parochial shut in. you have no idea what is going on in the world, especially if it falls outside your preconceived notions.

          Ok – Got it now? Springfield is not having to institute an income tax to pay for their schools,. Eugene is. That’s what the article is about.

          Look – You and I both know you are something of a bumpkin. Even you would probably admit your views are more parochial than most. However it would really save a lot of time if you could actually read, and consider the article you are commenting on before making inane comments such as you do here.

          • J.

            So Rupert, what’s your point? Come on little guy don’t be so shy, tell us what you really think 😉

        • Rupert in Springfield

          >And Springfield is in better shape than Eugene? That is news.

          No its not news you idiot. Its the subject of the article you are commenting on. Eugene having to put in an income tax because they cant pay for their schools.

          Got it now? That’s what the article is about, that’s what you are commenting on. So no, it is not news at all that Springfield is in better shape.

          Ok – So now the blog fool knows what the hell he is commenting on.

          Other things that have been national or statewide news that you missed, and thus think its news Springfield is in better shape than Eugene:

          Springfield rather famously managed to get Eugene’s last hospital to move here from Eugene a few years back. This was state wide news. you missed it.

          It was also national news that Eugene was one of the few places where violent crime increased last year, in Springfield it didn’t. In fact, violent crime has been on the increase in Eugene since 2005. Again, you missed it because you are essentially a parochial shut in. you have no idea what is going on in the world, especially if it falls outside your preconceived notions.

          Ok – Got it now? Springfield is not having to institute an income tax to pay for their schools,. Eugene is. That’s what the article is about.

          Look – You and I both know you are something of a bumpkin. Even you would probably admit your views are more parochial than most. However it would really save a lot of time if you could actually read, and consider the article you are commenting on before making inane comments such as you do here.

  • Professor Plum

    I’m voting a hearty YES to a school income tax in May. If this doesn’t pass we’ll have to close schools and lay off teachers. But if it passes we’ll have 4J’s three-part long-term saving strategy outlined on their website; consolidating schools, furloughing teachers and reducing staff. That’s Saving Schools, just like measure 66 saved them.

    The proposal was wisely rewritten from a flat tax so most who vote on it will never pay anything. Ten dollars for someone making 20,000 a year? Where would they’ve gotten that money? We’d love to have our public employees contribute, but darn it, the way it’s worded we can’t collect. Fair enough for me!

    Vote YES to kicking the can down the road again rather than face fiscal reality of unsustainable public benefit spending. The city of Salem only spent the equivalent of 220 teacher’s salaries in 2009 to offset its PERS contribution. In the next five years Oregon resident’s PERS contribution may only rise to 25% of every tax dollar that goes into a public agency to support payrolls. Why should we address pension negotiation in this proposal either?

    Please vote YES for the most brilliant idea 4J’s come up with yet.