Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Oregon; following California's example?

Sure looks it. Wealth envy wins, jobs creation loses:

Oregon voters pass tax increasing measures by big margin
Oregon voters bucked decades of anti-tax and anti-Salem sentiment Tuesday, raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy to prevent further erosion of public schools and other state services.

The tax measures passed easily, with late returns showing a 54 percent to 46 percent ratio. Measure 66 raises taxes on households with taxable income above $250,000, and Measure 67 sets higher minimum taxes on corporations and increases the tax rate on upper-level profits.


The double-barreled victory is the first voter-approved statewide income tax increase since the 1930s. Other states, facing similar budget woes, are watching the outcome closely because Oregon, after all, is a state that capped property taxes and locked a surplus tax rebate program into the constitution.


Overall statewide turnout was expected to be around 60 percent of Oregon's 2 million voters.

Tuesday's strong support also validated a strategy by Democratic lawmakers to single out the rich and corporations for targeted tax increases.

Campaign ads by supporters highlighted banks and credit card companies and showed images of well-dressed people stepping off private jets. They also hammered on the $10 minimum tax that most corporations have paid since its inception in 1931.

Those messages helped counter warnings by opponents that the taxes would lead to job losses, worsening the state's 11 percent unemployment rate, and prompt wealthy residents to move elsewhere.

"They did a great job of pounding, 'It's only $10,'" said Bob Tiernan, chairman of the state Republican Party. "We got swamped by the union money."

Supporters spent at least $6.9 million, most of it coming from teacher and public employee unions. Opponents, led by a coalition of business organizations, spent at least $4.6 million, donated by wealthy entrepreneurs such as Nike's Phil Knight and Columbia Sportswear's Tim Boyle. Opponents who gathered at the Grand Hotel in Salem were optimistic early, but as the results came in, the mood quickly darkened.

"It's disappointing and discouraging," said Pat McCormick, spokesman for Oregonians Against Job-Killing Taxes. "The tone and tenor was often venomous, trying to pit the haves against the have-nots."

He said the business community now must figure out "how to participate in a system that's largely disconnected from us."


Lawmakers, who are scheduled to convene Monday in Salem for a monthlong session, are expected to move onto other issues, such as tackling Oregon's unique "kicker" law that rebates revenue surpluses to taxpayers and reining in rapidly expanding tax credits for green energy companies.

They also may be looking to repair a broadening rift between the state's business leaders and Democrats who control both chambers of the Legislature and the governor's office. [...]

When Democrats control everything, they raise taxes. California kept raising taxes till jobs and investors left the state in droves. I don't see how this is going to bode well for Oregon unemployment. Other than creating more government jobs.

It's how California got in the mess they're in. The article claims other states are watching Oregon, so they can follow our example. Is the whole nation going to follow the California example?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.