"Reforming" Oregon to Death | The Wandering Eye

Coverage for Central Oregon, by Central Oregonians.
100% Local. No Paywalls.

Every day, the Source publishes a mix of locally reported stories on our website, keeping you up to date on developments in news, food, music and the arts. We’re committed to covering this city where we live, this city that we love, and we hear regularly from readers who appreciate our ability to put breaking news in context.

The Source has been a free publication for its 22 years. It has been free as a print version and continued that way when we began to publish online, on social media and through our newsletters.

But, as most of our readers know, times are different for local journalism. Tech giants are hoovering up small businesses and small-business advertising—which has been the staple for locally owned media. Without these resources, journalism struggles to bring coverage of community news, arts and entertainment that social media cannot deliver.

Please consider becoming a supporter of locally owned journalism through our Source Insider program. Learn more about our program’s benefits by clicking through today.

Support Us Here

Saturday, January 23, 2010

"Reforming" Oregon to Death

Posted By on Sat, Jan 23, 2010 at 6:50 PM

Oregon conservatives who oppose the tax increases under Measures 66 and 67 say that what this state really needs is a fundamental reform of its tax system. No argument here – but what reforms would Oregon conservatives support?

Well, certainly not doing away with Oregon’s archaic and ridiculous “kicker” law, which prevents the state from accumulating sufficient reserves to see it through tough times like the present Great Recession.

The Oregon Catalyst blog takes a shot this week at a bill to be introduced in the coming special legislative session that would (in the blogger’s words) “raid the kicker tax refund.” The measure, SJR 45, would establish a reserve fund by reducing – but not eliminating – the kicker; some surplus revenue would be refunded to taxpayers.

But any attempt to touch the sacred kicker starts conservatives howling and snarling, and this one is no exception.

“These clowns are back with this one again?” writes “Rupert in Springfield.” “Look, we are about to increase taxes with 66 and 67 mostly to pay for government luxuries. They can’t cut back in the middle of the worst recession in most people’s lives. How foolish does one have to be to think that any rainy day fund would not be spent immediately?”

Okay, how about a sales tax? Nope, the right-wingers don’t like that idea either.

“In a recent East Oregonian story, State Representative Bob Jenson [R-Pendleton] has suggested a ‘three-tiered revenue source based on income, property and sales taxes’ to add revenue to a budget that is already growing out of control and is out of step with population and inflation,” writes Oregon Catalyst. Jenson’s Republican primary challenger, Mike Mathisen, “calls Jenson’s idea unwise and out of touch with Oregonians’ feelings about giving more money to state government right now.”

(Do conservatives think there’s EVER a right time to give more money to any government, anywhere?)

“I think we all know when politicians get more money from something like a sales tax, they aren’t going to give up money they already have from property and income taxes,” said Mathisen. “Have you ever heard of a politician giving money back to taxpayers unless it was in our Constitution? Once legislators get their hands on our money, it’s gone.”

Maybe after the battle over Measures 66 and 67 is over the conservatives will tell us what tax reforms they’re willing to support … but I’m not betting on it. My hunch is the only “reform” they’d like is the elimination of all taxes, and their real aim is (to paraphrase right-wing pundit and political consultant Grover Norquist) to shrink Oregon government down to the point where they can drown it in a bathtub.

Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

More by The Source Staff

Latest in The Wandering Eye

  • Moonshine Magic in Bend Still on the Down Low

    • Aug 9, 2012
    Get ready for our great close-up on the home distilling community out next week in our "Best of" issue. We interviewed a mixed bag of legal and anarchist distillers in Bend to find out why distilling is so very, very against the law in one's home. More »
  • The Eye Wanders Off Into the Sunset

    • Dec 26, 2010
    I’m really sorry to break the bad news to them during this season of peace and goodwill, but after this week the right-wingers in Bend and vicinity won’t have The Wandering Eye to kick around anymore. The decision to stop writing this blog was my own, and it was prompted by several factors. More »
  • DADT, Gay-Bashing and the "Icky-ness" Factor

    • Dec 19, 2010
    For the past week or so, “Zeo” of the NW Republican blog has had his jock strap in a knot over the prospect of Congress repealing the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” rule. To hear Zeo tell it, if DADT is repealed and gays are allowed to serve openly in the US military it will mean the end not only of our armed forces but of America, its economic system and civilization in general. More »
  • More »

© 2020 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation