Questions and Answers on Ballot Measure 49

With ballots arriving in the mail soon, we found it important to get our the basic facts on Measure 49. Please pass this on to your friends.

Q: What is Measure 49?

A: Ballot Measure 49 is a measure that repeals Measure 37 (See Section 4 of Measure 49 for the repeal language), the property rights measure approved by 61 percent of Oregon voters in 2004. It then replaces Measure 37 with new land-use limits on Oregonians that would reduce property values, threaten Oregon families’ lifetime investments and take away rights to use your land that were part of the purchase price for your property. Measure 49 grants the government the power to take your private property without compensation — a radical change In Oregon state law.

Q: Where did Measure 49 come from?

A: Against the will of Oregon voters, who have twice voted in favor of basic property rights and fair compensation for land devalued by government regulations, the Oregon Legislature (by a single vote) crafted Measure 49 to replace the voter-approved Measure 37. The Legislature did so without a single public hearing — and then they drafted an intentionally misleading ballot title. Clearly they are doing everything to regain the power to take your property without compensation.

Q: Who opposes Measure 49?

A: Groups like Stop Taking Our Property, the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, the Oregon State Grange, the Oregon Family Farm Association PAC, Oregonians In Action, other agricultural organizations, business leaders, elected officials, and thousands of Oregon property owners are all fighting to protect hard-working Oregonians’ life savings and retirement investments as well as the basic right to use their land. Supporters of Measure 49 believe that Oregon property owners should be willing to give their property to government”” all without fair compensation.

Q: So who supports Measure 49?

A: A strange mix of big-money interests, out-of state interests, and environmental organizations who would rather see Oregon families drain their life savings jumping through bureaucratic hoops than enjoy the right to use their land as they planned. Many of these groups publicly urge government to take the use and value of your property, so they can buy it cheap. It is all about their self-interest and using government to take your property from you. One thing is for sure – the supporters of Measure 49 stand to make money by lowering the value of your property.

Q: Is It true that anyone in the entire United States can sue any Oregon landowner who makes a claim under Measure 49?

A: That’s right. Under Measure 49, anyone in the entire country could sue an Oregon landowner who has made a claim under the measure “” and even if you get sued and win your claim, you will still have to pay the legal bill for defending yourself, and can’t recover you’re attorney fees.

Q: Did average citizens get to offer comments on Measure 49 during the most recent session of the Legislature?

A: No. The Legislature refused to allow public comment and referred the measure to voters without any citizen input.

Q: Why would Measure 49 be so expensive for Oregon property owners?
A: Landowners filing a claim under Measure 49 will have to pay not only their own attorney and multiple appraisers, but also the government’s attorneys and appraisers (even if they win) just to prove their property lost value. In addition, because Measure 49 restricts how property owners can use their land, it will result in decreased property values across the state. For Oregon landowners who are counting on their land for retirement or long-term investments, that’s a scary thought. But Measure 49’s costs go beyond that. Under this measure, anyone filing a Measure 49 claim will be forced to fight lawsuits and won’t be able to recover their costs and attorney fees “” even if they win their claim.

Q: What else would Measure 49 do?

A: In addition to making it harder and more expensive for Oregonians to use their property as they originally intended, Measure 49 would eliminate land-use protections for Oregon farmers and foresters. It would also prevent families from passing their property rights on to their children, and it would let the government in the future change land-use rules without just compensation, thus preventing property owners from realizing the true value of their land and making it difficult for property owners to make investments in their property.

Q: What happens to Oregon landowners who already have a claim filed under Measure 37?

A: Existing Measure 37 claims will have to be re-filed under Measure 49 no matter how much money and time have already been spent. Even if a Measure 37 claim has been approved, and the property owner has jumped through all the hoops and spent thousands of dollars getting their approval, they will have to start over again under Measure 49. “Worse yet, very few claimants, if any, will get anything if they do start over.”

Q: Didn’t we just vote on major property rights measures?

A: Yes indeed. In 2000 we passed Measure 7, which the courts threw-out after appeals from those in favor of Measure 49. In 2004, 61 percent of Oregon voters approved Measure 37. And just last year, over 67 percent of Oregon voters approved Measure 39 to limit government taking of private property.

Now the same special interests who opposed these measures are using Measure 49 to repeal Measure 37. The have lost three times at the ballot, which is why they wrote a deceptive ballot title, and blocked all public hearings on Measure 49 — they know they have to mislead you to win.

When you voted In 2000, they sued you. After your vote in 2004 they sued you again, and lost. Now, they are attempting to trick you — we need to vote No on Measure 49 to protect our votes and our property rights.

Q: If Oregonians overwhelmingly approved Measure 37, why is the Legislature fiddling with it?

A: Despite the fact that 61 percent of Oregon voters approved Measure 37 and that many Oregonians would rather leave Measure 37 alone, the Legislature took it upon itself to repeal the measure through Measure 49. Lawmakers say they wanted to “clarify” the law, but Measure 49 adds new land-use restrictions, gives government the right to take or devalue a person’s property without compensation, and, in the end, makes the entire land-use claim process even more expensive, cumbersome and complex than ever before.

Measure 49 is poorly drafted, will have unintended consequences, and will lead to years of expensive litigation.