Tax and Budget

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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Press Release: New Report Proposes Better Outcomes, Lower Costs for State and Local Governments Through User Fees

PORTLAND, Ore. – A new report released by Cascade Policy Institute suggests numerous ways state and local governments can lower the costs of public services through judicious, targeted use of “user fees,” rather than relying on general taxation. Resurrecting User Fees in Public Finance: A Prescription for Lowering the Cost and Improving the Fairness of […]

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Press Release: Legal Analysis Finds Land Board in Breach of Trust over Elliott State Forest

November 25, 2014 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contacts: John A. Charles, Jr. 503-242-0900 john@cascadepolicy.org Kathryn Walter 617-519-6168 kwalter@altuslaw.com   PORTLAND, Ore. ― A detailed legal analysis released today by Cascade Policy Institute concludes that the State Land Board, which has responsibility for the Elliott State Forest, has not prudently managed this asset and likely has […]

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Scare Tactics Not Working in Road Tax Debates

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) recently issued a report describing the deteriorating condition of Oregon highways. The authors estimate that the cumulative cost to the state economy from poor roads will be $94 billion by 2035. At the same time, the Portland City Council is considering a new local income tax to pay for […]

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Don’t Pay Twice for Public Education

Last week, the American College Testing organization (ACT) released the results of its national college admissions examination consisting of tests in English, Reading, Math, and Science. Thirty-six percent of Oregon’s 2014 high school graduates took the tests. Only 30 percent of those students scored high enough to be ready for college in all four subject […]

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Just Say No to the Oregon Opportunity Initiative

The cost of obtaining a college degree is rising rapidly, leading some people to advocate that taxpayers subsidize even more of the cost. They assume that the state will benefit economically if more of its citizens obtain higher educations. And yet, as one researcher puts it, “One of America’s most durable myths is that the […]

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