Tax and Budget

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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Cascade in the Capitol – Testimony Against Additional Tobacco Taxes (HB 4129)

February 11, 2014 Testimony Against HB 4129 in the House Revenue Committee By Steve Buckstein Chair Barnhart and members of the committee, my name is Steve Buckstein. I’m the Senior Policy Analyst and founder of Cascade Policy Institute, a Portland-based free-market think tank. I’m here to ask you to reject HB 4129. Why the state […]

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Portland’s Renewable Energy Pipe Dream

By William Newell Since 2001 the City of Portland has aimed to obtain all of its electricity from renewable sources. More than 10 years later, the City has failed to meet its own goals, even after renewing the pledge in 2009 and again in 2012. To achieve its long-standing goal, the City has sought to […]

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The Public vs. Private Sector Compensation Conundrum

Salem Statesman Journal editor Dick Hughes just published a lengthy column asking whether public or private sector employees are better compensated. He cites studies that reach contradictory conclusions, depending on their assumptions, and then answers his question by stating, “Who knows?” That answer must be challenged because he somewhat dismisses the apparent fact that “…public […]

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