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They Always Want More: Voters Face at Least a Half Dozen New Taxes in 2020

By Eric Fruits, Ph.D.

With this year’s “short” session of the legislature, the $700 million a year cap-and-trade bill is on everyone’s mind.

As they say on the infomercials: “Wait, there’s more.” Way more. Way more taxes. This year, Portland area voters are facing at least six new tax measures.

First, we have Metro’s transportation package that will amount to more than $400 million a year in new taxes.

This week, Metro is also looking to move forward with another set of taxes for homeless services. That’s expected to cost about $300 million a year.

Then, we’ve got Portland Public Schools’ billion dollar plus school construction bond, where $200 million will be used to pay for cost overruns from the last bond measure.

Wait, there’s more.

In November, Portland voters will be asked to renew the city’s 10-cents per gallon gas tax.

In the Portland area alone, voters will see at least six new taxes totaling more than a billion dollars a year.

Also in November, ballots will go out for a $2 per pack increase in Oregon’s cigarette tax plus a massive new tax on vaping products.

Wait, there’s one more.

In response to House Speaker Tina Kotek’s call for a housing emergency in Oregon, Governor Kate Brown is pressing for a new tax on home sales. That’s right, the state with a housing affordability crisis is looking at a tax to make homes more expensive.

No matter how much they spend, they always want more. It’s time for Oregon voters to pick up their ballot and tell their politicians, “Enough is enough.”

Eric Fruits, Ph.D. is Vice President of Research at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

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  • Bob "Elvis" Clark

    It’s horrible. For those wanting some time to digest new taxes and fees passed the last couple of years, you can work really hard to defeat one new tax…but there are a whole posse of them….you only can plug maybe one hole when a number of leaks in the dike are springing simultaneous.

    • 7:31 pm - February 7, 2020

  • Elice

    At this point I just think the government leaders in Oregon are obscene. Their entire agenda is to grow government even more massive than it is now.
    Metro just handed us $653 million in new property taxes in 2018 for “affordable housing.” Affordable for whom? Certainly not the people forced to pay for it. In 2019 they shoved $475 million MORE new property taxes down our throats for more land grabs. Now Metro wants $400 million MORE for another transportation “package” and that’s after the state of Oregon just just smashed us with a multi-billion dollar statewide transportation tax package. And now Metro wants ANOTHER $300 million for them to, again, help with the homeless problem. And of course, we have PPS demanding brand new luxury real estate for all the schools, and want us to fund their complete dereliction of anything that resembles sticking to a budget. These numbers are beyond comprehension.

    Then we have Kate Brown shoving a multi-billion dollar GROSS sales tax down our throats and signed HB 2164 so the people didn’t get a vote and making Oregon officially the least democratic of all 50 states. This maneuver because we already voted down a GROSS sales tax by 59% NO and she knows we would vote it down again. Because it’s wrong. Then add in the new “green” tax in Portland only, estimated to cost us $60 million, all those millions to go to “people of color.” What does “green” this or that have to do with “people of color?” Nothing. It’s just another massive money grab. Taking money from one group and shoveling it to people they deem more worthy.

    All the new taxes just since 2018 add up to more than $3 BILLION! And that’s before all these new taxes planned for 2020! It is insane and I despise these people in office. In a state where they spew their mantra “sustainable” this and that, but none of these mega billions in new taxes is affordable to the people trying to make a living here. They are targeting the private sector, they spit on business and then turn around and expect business to cough up billions for their lousy management of of everything government. Because these government lifers do not manage anything. They just demand billions, blow it and demand more. Their agenda is to grow government, increase and grow welfare roles grow government into the stratosphere.

    This is a massive big government agenda that is socialist and extreme and at these levels is obscene in it’s magnitude. It is not possible for me to have less respect for these idiots spending the billions.

    • 9:16 pm - February 7, 2020

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