Enhancing Oregon taxation policies.


Noted Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Taxation is the price we pay for civilization.” But is it?

Economist Mark Skousen best framed the response to Holmes in his paper Persuasion versus Force, where he wrote: “Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure.”

Cascade predicted the current massive unfunded liabilities crisis in Oregon’s Public Employees Retirement System years before any official recognition. Our 2001 report, Pension Liberation: A Proposal to Reform PERS, is just one of Cascade’s many critiques of Oregon’s PERS problem.

The 2019 Oregon Legislative Session made clear that the fight to reform PERS is not over. Democrats passed a $1 billion corporate tax to increase school funding while cutting public employee compensation in an attempt to bolster PERS finances.

Although local education spending in Oregon has increased by $1.7 billion over the past ten years, public school districts claim they face a funding gap that has caused teachers to be cut and class sizes to increase. The greatest single problem with Oregon’s K-12 public education budget, however, is runaway PERS costs. In 2009, school districts paid approximately 15 percent of payroll to fund PERS. The amount is expected to increase to 30 percent of payroll in 2020.

Cascade analyzes Oregon state and local tax and budget policies with an eye toward enhancing individual liberty, personal responsibility, and economic opportunity.

Related Articles

Oregon Legislators Should Vote Yes on Nuclear Power-cm

Oregon Legislators Should Vote Yes

By Rachel Dawson Oregon is home to NuScale Power, the nation’s leading small modular nuclear reactor (SMR) d...

Read Blog Detail
Empower Oregon Families Today by Funding Students, Not Systems-cm

Empower Oregon Families Today by Fu

By Kathryn Hickok and Helen Doran Every parent knows a solid education prepares children for life, and that ...

Read Blog Detail
SolarWorld factory closure is the latest among government subsidy mistakes-cm

SolarWorld factory closure is the l

By Rachel Dawson Should governments use taxpayer dollars to support select companies of their choice? The re...

Read Blog Detail