Close on the heels of Measure 28’s failure Portland and Multnomah County officials have started dreaming of more creative ways to tax people, rather than live within the means of taxpayers. Specifics about the new taxes are hard to come by. There is no consensus on whom to tax or what to tax.
Multnomah County Commissioner Lisa Naito has proposed that Multnomah County adopt the “Daughter of 28”, which would apply the higher taxes of Measure 28 to Multnomah County residents. Naito stated in a press release, “Measure 28 did pass in Multnomah County with the support of 57% of the voters.” Of course, county voters were also voting to increase everyone else’s taxes. How would they have voted if they knew it only affected them? No one knows.
It is folly to ignore the reasons why Oregon is in this mess in the first place. Many programs, such as PERS and the Oregon Health Plan, are in need of overhaul. How education dollars are spent must be scrutinized. The legislature is unlikely to address these problems unless there is significant pressure to do so. The “Daughter of 28” merely delays needed statewide spending reform.
Pumping more money into government will not get at the root cause of budgetary issues, and will make such matters worse in the long run. Voters sent a message to government officials: fix the problems, don’t simply sustain them in a more creative fashion.
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