Measure 59

Argument in Favor

What your family faces…

- Oregon gas prices hit top ten in the nation
- Food prices rising over 30%
- Utility prices rising as high as 40%

Careless politicians' response…

- Passed over $856 million in new taxes/fees last year
- Voted to increase state budget by over 20%
- Gave 20% pay raises for many government employees

Politicians further helped themselves by voting themselves…

- $34 million capitol makeover
- $1,600 chairs
- $2,500 leather sofas
- $4,400 walnut desks
- $6,700 credenza, wardrobe
- $600 LCD flat screen TVs

The politicians say they cannot spare taxpayers a tax break during economic tough times yet at the same time vote their offices million dollar makeovers and lavish government pay increases. Tax relief would help your family, boost the economy and create jobs.

Vote Yes on 59
Taxpayers deserve a tax break
Politicians need to stop wasting our tax dollars

Keep an eye on politicians,
for daily Oregon political news and tax updates

(This information furnished by Jason Williams, Taxpayer Association of Oregon.)

Argument in Favor

Even Low Income Oregonians Suffer Double Taxation

Opponents of Measure 59 are claiming that the measure does not benefit low income taxpayers; only the middle class on up. Let's consider what they are really saying.

The real message of the "No on 59" crowd is one of class envy. They are pitting low income taxpayers against middle class income taxpayers. They are saying it is okay to tax the middle class on their income not once, but twice. However, it's not okay to do this to low income people.

But taxes ought to be fair to everyone. No one should be double taxed. No one should be forced to pay state income taxes on money they already paid to the IRS as federal income taxes. It is just not right.

Here's something the "No on 59" crowd is not telling you: they are mostly public employee unions who live off your tax dollars and benefit when you are overtaxed.

They also aren't telling you that lower income people sometimes get bonuses. When they do, they are shocked to discover that they are being double taxed and with a sizeable chunk of their bonus. They are shocked to discover that there's a cap on how much of their federal income tax they can deduct on their state tax return.

When lower income people sell things, like a house or something they inherited. They find themselves double taxed, because of the legislature's sneaky cap on how much federal income tax you can deduct on your state tax return, which suddenly is costing them thousands of dollars in state taxes.

Measure 59 makes Oregon's income tax system fairer for everyone. It removes the legislature's sneaky cap and makes all of your federal income taxes deductible on your state income tax return. Saving middle class and lower income Oregonians money.

Measure 59 is the right thing to do.

FreedomWorks urges a "Yes" on 59

(This information furnished by Russ Walker, FreedomWorks.)

Argument in Favor

Oregon Needs to Reduce Taxes

During the current budget cycle, Oregon's general fund grew about $2 billion. That's a spending increase of approximately 20 percent in just one biennium.

One would think that the legislature would be happy with such a huge increase in state spending, but not so. On top of their $2 billion increase in the general fund, legislators attempted to pass an additional $1.6 billion in new taxes and fees, which would have resulted in an increase of more than 30 percent in just one budget cycle.

Here's the problem with such an inordinate level of growth: It has to be sustained.

If there is a downturn in the economy and revenue drops, everything the state funds, from schools to prisons to parks to social programs, could all suffer major cuts. School districts and state agencies will have artificially expanded their budgets to unsustainable levels and will have to cut back, which means they likely will lay off employees, including K-12 teachers, college professors, state police officers, case workers, and even prison guards.

Measure 59 is a fair and measured way to reduce taxes and keep state spending at sustainable levels. If Measure 59 were in place right now, the reduction in revenue would only be about half of the current increase in state spending. In other words, it would not have actually reduced the amount of money the state had from one budget to the next. It would only have reduced the rate of growth to a more sustainable level.

Sure, the tax-and-spend crowd will cry, "Wolf!" They always say the sky will fall if we reduce taxes. But that is the same crowd that is first in line to call for tax increases when the economy slows and state revenue drops.

Oregon needs Measure 59. It will be painful to make major cuts after budgets have been increased excessively during times of plenty. Measure 59 will spare us that.

(This information furnished by Matt Evans, Americans For Prosperity - Oregon, Communications Director.)

Argument in Favor

The Legislature Deserves a Strong Rebuke

Here's how the state legislature pulled a classic "bait and switch" on Oregon voters.

A measure similar to Measure 59 was on the ballot in 2000. (Unlike that measure, however, Measure 59 does not benefit corporations.)

The 2000 measure was wildly popular with voters, polling two-to-one in favor of passage. State legislators were so worried that it would pass, that they placed a competing measure on the ballot. The plan was to divide the peoples' vote, so both measures would fail.

The legislature's plan only partly worked. Voters were divided enough that they narrowly rejected the measure that was placed on the ballot by initiative petition. However, to the legislature's surprise and dismay, voters passed their competing version. (The legislature's version merely raised the cap to include more people, but still left hundreds of thousands of Oregonians double taxed.)

Putting a competing measure on the ballot to defeat a measure that was placed there by citizen petition was itself a dirty trick, but that's not the end of the story.

How do you think the legislature responded to the peoples' vote, after voters had accepted their compromise measure? Did they honor the will of the people? Hardly! The very next legislative session they voted to overturn the will of the voters.

The money hungry politicians reneged on the promise implicit in their competing measure and left the old cap almost exactly where it was before the people voted to raise it. Legislators decided they needed your money too much to honor your decision and arrogantly overturned your vote!

The old cap has gradually and pathetically increased since 2000, but the cap is still there eight years later, and today about 500,000 of your fellow taxpaying Oregonians remain subject to egregious and immoral double taxation.

You can send a clear message to the State Legislature by voting "Yes" on 59 and end Double Taxation for all Oregonians!

(This information furnished by Bill Sizemore, Oregon Tax Payers United.)

Argument in Favor

The Legislature's Backdoor Tax Schemes

The Legislature likes to raise taxes. No surprise there. Legislators know, however, that taxpayers will revolt, if they increase Oregon's income tax rates, which are already so regressive that currently many poor people pay the highest rate.

What were the politicians in Salem to do? How could they increase taxes without starting a taxpayer revolt? Someone came up with the perfect scheme: Don't increase tax rates; increase the taxpayers' taxable income.

You see, it's really quite simple for politicians to increase your taxable income. All they have to do is remove some of your deductions. Just like that, with one accounting maneuver, you suddenly owe more taxes, even though tax rates have not increased and your income has not increased.

The Oregon legislature has become one of the sneakiest in the country at raising taxes without raising tax rates.

Here are two ways the legislature has employed this scheme in recent years:

First, they don't allow you the same deduction the IRS allows for each of your dependents. Instead of the generous federal exemption, Oregon gives us a tax credit worth about half that amount, which means poorer taxpayers often pay higher state income taxes than they do federal income taxes on the same amount of income.

Second, the legislature has capped how much of our federal income taxes we can deduct on our state tax returns. All income above their artificial cap is essentially double taxed!

Capping how much of our federal income taxes we can deduct increases our tax just as if the legislature had increased the rates. We feel the same pain, but unless we do our own taxes, we don't realize why. Pretty clever ploy really.

Measure 59 removes the legislature's artificial cap and makes all of our federal income taxes deductible on our state tax returns. It is the right thing to do.

Vote "Yes" on Measure 59 to end the legislature's "double taxation" scheme.

(This information furnished by Tim Rohrer, Oregon Tax Payers United.)

Argument in Favor

Burying You in Voters' Pamphlet Arguments

The other side obviously has tons of money to spend. Not only are they spending millions of dollars on television and radio ads, they also are trying to bury you in voters pamphlet arguments.

Opponents of this measure have called in lots of political favors and submitted dozens of voters' pamphlet arguments in all kind of names.

Their arguments say pretty much the same thing over and over. They just have different people saying the same thing repeatedly. Their strategy is to impress you with how many people or groups agree with their side.

I hope you will think about their strategy. Instead of being impressed with the volume of words and paper they are throwing at you, consider the strong, reasoned arguments we have put forward. Please do not be impressed with their multitude of words or their emotional pleas.

Even if we had as much money as our opponents, we would not spend it buying more voters' pamphlet arguments than a reasonable person would read.

You might want to consider this simple fact: Every argument in the voters' pamphlet cost the state several thousand dollars more to print and distribute than the ones making the arguments actually pay to have their statement included. Taxpayers are hugely subsidizing every argument printed in this pamphlet, including this one.

We have made our case concisely and we hope you find it persuasive. And please take note that we did not need to buy 30 to 50 pages in the voters' pamphlet to do so.

(This information furnished by Tim Rohrer, Oregon Tax Payers United.)