Tax and Budget

Proposed Tobacco Tax Increase Will Simply Encourage More Smuggling

State legislatures across the country have piled on the tobacco taxes over the past decade. Not surprisingly, this has created a growing problem of tobacco smuggling. As the tax rate rises, it encourages people to buy products from low-tax states and sell them illegally in high-tax states. New York is the most obvious example of […]

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Testimony Regarding SB 324-A, Low-Carbon Fuels Standards

The top legislative priority for most Democrats in Salem has passed the Senate and will be up for its first public hearing in the House on Tuesday, February 24th. SB 324-A, the “low-carbon fuel standard” bill pushed so hard by Cylvia Hayes and former Gov. Kitzhaber, will be reviewed in the House Environment and Energy […]

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When Is a Tax Not a Tax?

Governor Kitzhaber wants you to drive less, and he knows that the best way to discourage driving is to make it more expensive. The simplest way to do this would be to raise the state gas tax, which is currently 30 cents per gallon. However, this would require approval by three-fifths of the state legislative […]

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Cascade Report Exposes $2.6 Billion in Unfunded Liabilities

Cascade Policy Institute has released a new report showing that Oregon public employers have more than $2.6 billion in unfunded actuarially accrued liabilities associated with non-pension benefits promised to current and future retirees. Referred to as “Other Post-Employment Benefits,” or OPEB, these liabilities include various forms of deferred compensation. The Governmental Accounting Standards Board mandates […]

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Report Shows Oregon Public Employment Contracts Are a Ticking Time Bomb

PORTLAND, Ore. – Cascade Policy Institute today announced the release of a new report showing that Oregon public employers have more than $2.6 billion in unfunded actuarially accrued liabilities associated with non-pension benefits promised to current and future retirees. These benefits, often referred to as “Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB),” typically include health care coverage for […]

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Equal Outcome Is the Wrong Goal

In Governor Kitzhaber’s final inaugural address this week, he focused on the themes of equality and community. Specifically, he wants to reduce the gap between rich and poor. He also believes that only through collective action can we achieve that goal. Unfortunately, his obsession with “equal outcome” guarantees that we will lose “equal opportunity.” For […]

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The Regime Trembles at the Sight of a Smartphone

“The regime trembles at the sight of a smartphone.”* That quote comes from Portland-based independent journalist and world traveler Michael J. Totten. One might guess that he wrote it about Portland’s city government and its aversion to ridesharing services like Uber that rely on smartphone apps to put riders and drivers together. But he didn’t. […]

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No Wonder Portland Can’t Afford to Maintain Streets

The Portland City Council seems determined to raise taxes to pay for street maintenance. But the City doesn’t have a revenue shortage problem; it has a spending misallocation problem, which continues to grow. The latest example is a proposal to begin collecting and publicizing energy consumption data from about 1,000 of the largest commercial buildings […]

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Press Release: Report Shows No Return on Investment for Portland Seed Fund

December 3, 2014 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: John A. Charles, Jr. 503-242-0900 john@cascadepolicy.org   PORTLAND, Ore. – A new report released by Cascade Policy Institute concludes that the managers of the publicly financed Portland Seed Fund cannot provide documentation to show any positive return on investment for the millions of dollars spent on risky […]

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The Governor’s Budget: Much More Than Beer Money

Governor John Kitzhaber released his proposed 2015-17 budget this week. Critics were quick to argue that it’s either too much or too little, depending on their point of view. Media reports focused on his General Fund budget which, at $18.6 billion, would be an eleven percent increase over the current budget. In an attempt to […]

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