Money to burn: Measure 66 & 67

moneyburncrop2Almost from the moment the state Legislature voted to create $733 million in additional revenue by raising the corporate minimum tax and personal income taxes of wealthy people, drama ensued — predictable in a state known for its hatred of taxes.

A group calling itself Oregonians Against Job-Killing Taxes quickly created a campaign and raised $1.2 million to collect enough signatures to refer the taxes — now known as Measures 66 and 67 — to a special election scheduled for January in the hopes that Oregonians would vote the taxes down.

But, according to a variety of sources, there is even more money at stake —  up to an additional $1 billion — if the taxes are voted down, because of their connection to money Oregon has received from the federal stimulus package and other matching dollars.

The explanatory statement for Measure 66 published by the Secretary of State’s office in October acknowledges that Oregon stands to lose federal funds.

“Because some state money brings in federal matching funds, the state is likely to receive more federal money if the measure passes than if the measure fails,” it states.
If Measures 66 and 67 were voted down, and Oregon lost the tax revenue, federal stimulus money and federal matching money, it could total as much as $1.5 billion.
“Definitely, it’s a possibility,” says Linda Ames, deputy administrator at the state Budget and Management Office.

The corporate minimum tax the Legislature raised in last year’s session is a flat fee paid yearly by corporations and businesses in Oregon. Before the Legislature raised the fee to $150 this year, it had not changed the fee of $10 since 1931. The personal income tax raises taxes for individuals and families making more than $250,000.
In the next two years, the taxes are expected to raise $733 million in revenue. The majority of that money will go to Oregon’s general fund. Nearly all of the general fund is dedicated to public education, health care services and public safety.

“Those are the services at stake,” says Steve Novick, who is doing research on the effects of rejecting the tax measures for Defend Oregon, the political organization advocating for the passage of the taxes. (Novick ran unsuccessfully against U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley in 2008’s Democratic primary.)

Oregon receives matching funds from the federal government for two programs: Medicaid and public education.

Getting matching funds for Medicaid is nothing new. Providing health care services to people living at low incomes and people with disabilities through the Oregon Health Plan, Medicaid is jointly funded by Oregon and the federal government. For every dollar that is spent on Medicaid in Oregon, the federal government provides 63 cents.

According to the state Department of Human Services, Oregon provides health care services to 486,500 Oregonians, which includes 272,500 children and 116,500 seniors and people with disabilities.

The federal stimulus package passed in February increased the federal match rate to about 70 cents per dollar.

If Measures 66 and 67 are voted down, the general fund will lack the money to fund Medicaid at its current budget. The amount of money the Department of Human Services estimates it will lose in general fund money is $182.5 million. That is the equivalent of providing health care and related services to 50,000 people.
The Department of Human Services also estimates that it could lose a minimum of $225 million in federal matching funds.

“Anytime we cut state funding out of Medicaid, we lose federal money,” Ames says.

Public education funding—including K-12 education, public universities and community colleges — could be affected like Medicaid depending upon whether Measures 66 or 67 pass or fail.

The federal stimulus package passed by the Obama administration included a fund called the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund. That fund provides money for basic human services and education to states facing large budget deficits.

Oregon received $466.5 million from the Stabilization Fund, $341 million of which already has been spent on the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years.

To qualify for the funding, Oregon made an agreement with the federal government — called a “maintenance of effort” requirement — that Oregon would fund education at the same level it was funded during 2006, which was $5.6 billion. The current budget for public education is $200 million above that, at $5.8 billion. Ames says it also is expected that education will get an additional $200 million from reserve funds this summer.

Saying that the public education budget is fairly well “propped up,” Ames says that, depending on how the Legislature decides to balance the budget if Measures 66 and 67 fail, the education budget could fall below 2006 funding levels.

“If you cut K-12 too much … you would have the risk of losing all the federal money, even though some of that has been spent,” Ames says.

If Oregon lost the federal stimulus money for education, Ames says there is the possibility that Oregon could apply for a waiver allowing the state to keep the money.
“We don’t know if that would be allowed or not,” Ames says. “The waiver is an unknown.”

Whether Oregon will lose federal matching money, and how much, depends on the actions of the Legislature. In February, the Legislature will meet in a previously scheduled special session. If it has to re-balance the budget because Measures 66 and 67 fail, many people predict that it will be making tough choices.

For example, does the Legislature maintain Medicaid’s budget and cut other programs, or cut Medicaid and lose federal money?

“Preserving the federal match (for Medicaid) would result in substantial harm to the budgets of education and public safety,” says Janet Bauer, a policy analyst for the Oregon Center for Public Policy. “It is technically possible that the Legislature could, for instance, make the entire hit to education and preserve public safety or the reverse.”

“They could cut really deeply in some other programs and avoid cutting Medicaid,” Ames says.

Pat McCormick, the media spokesperson for Oregonians Against Job-Killing Taxes, calls the argument that Oregon would lose federal matching funds “ridiculous.”
“(The Legislature) has the full range of choices so they have don’t have to cut,” McCormick says, suggesting the Legislature could look to increase revenues elsewhere, such as a surcharge, or an increase in state income taxes for all incomes.
“He knows perfectly well that there’s not a magic pot of money lying around,” Novick says. “He just doesn’t care.”

Novick says “there’s no easy answer” to how the Legislature will be able to preserve funding for health care and public education if the ballot measures fail. “These are terrible choices,” he says, saying that the state would turn into the “kind of sad state that we were” in 2003, when Oregon experienced a recession, rejected an income tax increase, and had to make cuts in the Oregon Health Plan and public education.

“It is very likely that some of the ($733 million) will have to come out of some of the things we get federal matching funds from,” says Oregon Rep. Phil Barnhart, chairman of the House Revenue Committee. “It will affect every area of the budget.”
Barnhart says that to make up for the money that would be lost if Measures 66 and 67 do not pass, education and Medicaid would be two programs likely to see deep cuts, simply because the budgets are large enough to cut enough to balance the budget.
“There really is nowhere else to get money,” Barnhart says.

By Amanda Waldroupe, Staff Writer

97 responses to “Money to burn: Measure 66 & 67

  1. Jon // November 18, 2009 at 5:37 pm (edit)

    Well, I stumbled into your site looking for more info on 66 and 67. I will vote to hold taxes were they are and not give the state of Oregon another penny. When this economic down turn started in early 2008, my family started looking for ways to cut anything waisteful or unecassary out of the budget. What does the Fed and State Gov. do, raise taxes. After living in Oregon since 1979 I’ve learned one thing, the OR state Gov. hasn’t cut one fee or tax one time, that wasn’t forced on them by the tax payers of OR. Where does it stop? Someone has to be the grown up and say NO.

    I have two wonderful grandsons and it makes me ill when I think of the debt they have inherited in the past 10 months. Has the whole USA and state Gov. gone off the deep end? Trillions and trillions of dollars in unsecured debt.

    All those evil rich people too. We must punish them with higher taxes. Who decided 250K was rich? I know I’ll probably never see that much money in my life time, but I don’t think a family making 250K is rich. More like middle class.

    Rich people usually make their money by hard work and taking risks. They provide almost 80% of the employment in the USA. So lets raise their taxes during an economic down turn, sit around with our thumbs in our asses, and ask “where have all the jobs gone”.

    Left or Right, the trend is the same, big Gov. looking for ways to take away my freedoms and make me a subject instead of a citizen. I don’t want them to do me any more favors. I don’t want money sent to me that isn’t mine, in the name of Stimulus. Even if it were backed by something, there are better ways of stimulating growth. How about that Hope and Change, A? Zig

  2. All these ballot measures do is tax small business and kill jobs. but the backers of these tax hikes make it look like it is only on the rich. They fail to point out that this is a tax hike on all Sub S corps. which is over 90% of all small business.
    Oregon legislature ansewer to everything is create a new tax. Maybe they should try cutting some wasteful spending for once.

  3. This is not a job killing tax, 9 out of 10 Oregon businesses will pay only $ 140.00 more a year, from $10.00 now to $150.00, the first increase in the tax in 80 years.

    If the measures fail, jobs lost in Human Services, Education, and Public Safety will far outweigh any impact of these very small tax increases on businesses.

    In fact, passing these measures protects and creates jobs.

  4. I work in a group home making just a little over minimum wage. I budget my income but still live check to check. In this group home I help support three adults who have autism. They need my help and support throughout the day to accomplish many things that you may take for granted. They also have day programs outside of home which they go to where they work on skill building and community integration. This is all funded from the state. To say that passing 66 and 67 will kill jobs is wrong and misinformed. Not passing 66 and 67 will deeply cut these programs. It will affect both the people I help support and may also result in the loss of my job. Funding for Education, Public Safety and Human Services has to come from somewhere. Please, vote Yes on 66 and 67. Thank you for listening.

  5. Who has a corporation? Who makes over $250k a year? I live pretty damn comfortably, own my own home, and I don’t know anyone in either situation. In fact, I make about 1/5th of that in income.

    However, just about everyone I know would be negatively affected by not raising these taxes – hardworking friends with children or dependent on medicare for basic health needs.

    To label these as job-killing taxes is gross exaggeration. How many jobs will a corporation cut if it has to pay $140 more per year. That’s less than the fully-loaded cost of employing someone for ONE DAY at minimum wage.

  6. I think 66/67 is a step in the right direction, but what we really need is a Constitutional Amendment forbidding private money in elections.

  7. Killian Leekman

    Please note that most of this tax increase is aimed at the 60% of corporations filing tax returns in 2007 had zero income or a loss. The impact of the huge increases in fees and the corporate minimum tax will be disproportionally dumped onto this huge group of non-profitable businesses. This will almost certainly result in many small businesses removing themselves from corporate organization, and it will be a major barrier to corporate organization for small businesses. But it’s OK, let’s make it like some Third World place to start and run a business…it works so well for them; the only “good” jobs being in the “government”; everyone else just starves.

  8. It doesn’t seems to me that having corporations pay $150 a year is going to bankrupt them. They may have to give their CEOs much smaller bonuses. We know that these geniuses of the corporate world are worth so much more than the poor workers who keep them in jets, yachts and caviar. To whom much has been given much will be taken!

  9. Sure 66/67 will bring money to the state, but is it fair?

    I agree the hike in the corporate minimum tax is appropriate – it should’ve ajusted long ago. Yet when it comes to taxing individuals, shouldn’t we all bear the burden of the down economy?

    The state income taxe hike at the $125/$250K threshold and the commensurate elimination of federal income tax deductions is discriminatory. We’re penalizing people for having more money than we do.

    I don’t like the idea of losing the federal matching funds, but it’s a poor justification for passing 66/67. Our legislators should put the burden of paying for our government on all citizens, not just those who earn more than most. Our legislators should have proposed eliminating the federal income tax deduction (or
    reduced it equally for all) and they should have proposed a state income tax increase for all citizens.

    Fixing our state budget problems with a weak and biased tax structure is not the right way to do this.

  10. Class warfare?! Where do I sign up!

    $250K sounds rich to me; I’m not scared to say it. Shout at me and call me names — that’s what rich people do, right? We’re ALL middle class in America, right? I call B.S. on that. I call B.S. on whiny rich folk bitching about taxes.

    You rich/middle class folks (whatever you call yourselves) are justified in fighting for what’s yours. Just don’t be shocked when the rest of us fight back.

    And there’s a lot more of us than you.

  11. I would be affected by paying more money by both of these measures, and I wholeheartedly support them. Corporations that show a ‘loss’ or ‘zero profit’ are either over-paying their CEO or should not be in business in the first place. If $140 will run them out of business it was NOT a viable business to begin with. Arguements that this will drive business out of Oregon are just plain false. Oh, and BTW, if a household making $250,000 is ‘rich’ or ‘middle class’ makes no difference. They won’t pay any more taxes, either. If they are clearing $300,000 they will…

  12. Pingback: Measure 66 & 67 failure would mean heavy cuts in affordable housing « For those who can’t afford free speech

  13. Pingback: Why we need tax reform in Oregon. « The Global Consciousness

  14. I really can’t believe there are people in our legislature who are trying to raise taxes during a recession. Hey geniuses, we cut our budgets. Cut yours. Do we really want to follow the path of California on this one and tax our businesses to the point they fold or leave the state?

    Those companies that broke even or show a loss are still keeping people working. Do we really want to kill them off?

    The commercials supporting 66 & 67 are appealing to your base class envy emotions. Don’t be fooled. This will kill off more jobs in Oregon and we can’t afford it!

  15. I will definately vote “YES” on 66/67. I thought it was obvious to all (or at least most) that the state has cut spending-it has made SEVERE cuts in health services, education, programs/services that serve children, the poor, the disabled and the eldery (including those who live in nursing homes) while others are BITCHING about making the rich (If you make more than $250,000 in Oregon consider your self rich!) and corporations pay more? Being incorporated at tax time gets you plenty of tax breaks. And if some companies are not will to settle for less profit on the backs of their workers, I’m sure others will. It’s about supply and demand. Companies will form and evolve to fill in the gaps to provide the services and goods we need. Wake up Oregon!

    Where is the public outrage about the denial of basic needs / services for these people? Wake up! See the writing on the wall Oregon!

  16. what kind of nitwit (MSB690916 or any other) would think that someone who barely survives on $450 a month, should have a tax increase so the rich can feel that it’s an equal tax raise?

    tell me, how much real true harm and pain, is the person with $30,000 a month to get by on, going to feel if he has to part with $300? NO pain, in reality. Because he will still scrape by, with $29, 700 a month to pay his expenses of living. But think if the impoverished person has to give up even $20 more dollars. That reduces his means of survival to only $430 a month. When he could not get by on what he had even to start with.
    Some idioticos simply do not deserve the good salaries they draw, and i mean, those who try and keep the poor ever poorer unto death, while the rich are “protected from harm” which, as we see, is really NO harm whatsoever.

  17. Dear Rocketpoetry,

    What exactly is the meaning of “waisteful”? I may only be a blue collar worker who will likely need food stamps, but I am literate enough to know the correct spelling of certain words (wasteful). No spell check needed. Regarding your grandchildren, I am sure they are wonderful, but should we really cut money from education? Money spent providing your grandchildren and all children with a quality primary education is by no means waisteful or *wasteful*. Thank you and goodnight.

  18. you that believe this deception are nothing more than blind sheep!

  19. I too am like most people who don’t make enough to be affected by passing measure 66, but here is my gripe. Government is far too wasteful with money. PERIOD!!! People making over $125k are already paying 35.8 times more in minimum tax then ($310 vs. $11,110) than those who make under $125k.

    The way I look at this tax is since it doesn’t affect those who make less the $125k, they don’t care if government keeps wasting money and taxing those who make more then $125k.

    Why don’t we get to the real point here, in that until it starts affecting YOUR income people will keep voting to increase taxes!

    I make a decent living and have no problem with helping our public safety and education, but until the government can figure out how to correctly balance a debt vs. income spreadsheet without frivolous spending (like you and I have to do). I won’t vote for a tax increase.

    On a side point. Didn’t we just vote to increase taxes for public safety not to long ago? I believe we did!

  20. I own a small corporation (2 employees). I spent my life savings getting it up-and-running. As a result, two jobs and $185,000 of income (taxed by the state) has been generated. Regardless of the amount of tax increase, the idea that companies like mine somehow “owe” the state is preposterous. If anything… the State of Oregon should write me a “thank you” letter.
    Just for fun, let’s pretend that the the state’s fiscal problems are the responsibility of the citizens of Oregon. Unfortunately, many of the people out there have never taken a risk …have never had a sleepless night worrying if their business would make it …have never had the courage to try. Only those who have started a business can appreciate how wrong it is to hear that they “owe” the state extra money, and are somehow responsible for the current fiscal shortfall.
    It’s pure politics. The politicians are saying “Let’s not do the right thing… let’s do the easy thing”. “Let’s vilify those who create jobs”. “Let’s pretend that they are rich and cheat the system”. “Let’s make them pay so that we don’t have to”.

  21. I am a teacher in Oregon. Speaking of “job killing taxes” if these measures do not pass the jobs we will be killing are those of teachers, school classified employees, nurses, and home care providers. Some of us will have to be cut and those are the facts. There have already been previous cuts made to education for the current school year. We are getting down to the bare bones of education. These taxes are actually saving the jobs of hard working people. Please vote yes to save jobs in education and health care.

  22. Regarding Measure 66, supporters seem to miss the fact that low tax revenue goes hand in hand with high unemployment–Oregon severely needs to address its unemployment rate by encouraging business growth rather than by creating new positions and giving raises that squeeze out funds that can employ, say, teachers. Top income earners actually DO move out of Oregon as the marginal tax rate becomes higher than even California. Who does that leave?
    As for Measure 67, the $150 corporate minimum tax is probably bearable, but it is rolled in with a sideways attempt at a sales tax by taxing corporate income (not profits)–even rent.
    Also, these measures only propose tax increases and do not direct the funds to education, health care or anything else. Oregon may have promised that it will be allocated to the current budget, but there is no guarantee that the state will start managing their funds better in the next budget.

  23. I have owned my own business advocating for adults for developmental and physical disabilities for the past six years now.
    I have seen issues like this measure come up before with numerous cutbacks on schools, medical, housing and programs assisting the disabled.
    Because this is just the starting point of a major recession in our country once again our state of Oregon with a small percentage of representatives in the house are not there to make sure the money is provided for all the important issues in Oregon that every family rich or poor or middle class at some point are affected when there is lack of supports from businesses like mine. If this measure does not pass, what will my clients do for supports? How will the state and feds afford the cost of those people living independently now have to move to a foster home that costs ten times more a year than any other program????

    Please for the sake of many jobs and the needs of many children, students of all ages, disabled, seniors. PLEASE VOTE YES ON 66 and 67!

  24. This comment was made by another lady named Jennifer hers was written before mine. Her comment ended with this paragraph:

    Also, these measures only propose tax increases and do not direct the funds to education, health care or anything else. Oregon may have promised that it will be allocated to the current budget, but there is no guarantee that the state will start managing their funds better in the next budget.

    I would like to comment back about that issue I also have had concerns with and after asking, reading and discussions with people who work for the state. I have come to a conclusion that makes some sense. Here it is,

    If we do vote yes the state will still have the the monies required to get the federal $ that they match per state dollars to assist the education, health care and keep many other programs and jobs continuing.
    Vote no and their will not be a chance of this anymore because that money the state would offer will NO LONGER EXIST!!!

  25. Jennifer correctly points out the fact that Measure 67 is a hidden sales tax. Since the tax is based on the gross receipts, it is a sales tax. If a large C-corporation sells pipes to an Oregon supply house, the C-corporation will pay taxes on the gross sales. When the Oregon based supply house sells those same pipes to large plumbing shops, the supply house will pay taxes on its gross sales. When a plumbing shop that is a C-corporation charges the contractor for the pipes it installs in a new school being built, Oregon will collect taxes a third time on the gross receipts. When the contractor bills the school district for building the school, Oregon will collect taxes a fourth time on those pipes. Never once will the tax show up on any invoice. This is why it is a hidden tax paid by the end user.

    Every business owner is a tax collector for the state. Part of the “privilege” of operating a business is the responsibility to collect taxes for the state. The more taxes Oregon requires a business to collect, the more a business charges, because the real tax payers are the end users.

    Washington state sales tax shows up separately on receipts and is only paid by the end user. Oregon’s measure 67 hidden sales tax will be collected every time any goods or services change hands from a large C-corporation, even though it does not show up on the receipt. Fred Meyer, Albertsons, Safeway, Home Depot, Walmart, and most every big store you shop at will have to charge more as a result of this hidden sales tax, because they are simply collecting taxes for the state of Oregon. Every time you buy something, you will be paying the measure 67 tax, probably multiple times over.

    Wouldn’t it be better if you kept your money and spent it the way you wanted or donated it to the cause you wanted?

    By the way, non-profits will also have to pay more for the things they purchase as a result of Measure 67. Since the tax is applied to the gross receipts of the seller, there is no way for non-profit corporations to take an exemption on their purchases.

    Sub S-corporations will be paying $ 250.00 as a result of measure 67, not $150.00 as everybody has said to this point. There is a $ 100.00 fee that must be paid with every annual report submitted to the Oregon Secretary of State.

    BUT THE WORST THING IS THAT MEASURE 67 IS RETROACTIVE! Oregon businesses plan their year based on the taxes Oregon would require them to collect. THESE MEASURES BECOME EFFECTIVE January 1, 2009, more than a year prior to the vote in January 1010! Most every business owner I have talked to says business is down at least a third. The liberal legislators want to pile a tax burden on Oregon’s fledgling businesses in the midst of a recession: An additional tax bill they could not anticipate. If we allow the legislature to retrotax now, what will keep them from doing it in the future? What message is being sent to businesses that are considering locating in Oregon?

  26. I would be one of those that would pay more if the measures pass. Having lived on both ends of the income spectrum I am fully supportive of any measure intended to provide affordable health insurance to families that cannot afford it… WITH A BIG IF. Those that benefit should bear a bit of the pain. I am talking symbolic measures here, raise the tax rate at the low end by 0.1% or some such, which would translate to $30-$50 ANNUALLY for families in the lower middle class. The general population is getting awfully used to the “soak the rich so we can get it for free” attitude, and the spineless pandering creatures known as “politicians” are far too willing to satisfy the craving for freebies.

    My message to everyone in Oregon? Sure, “soak” me, I will be happy to contribute for the common good, but be prepared to at least make a symbolic “sacrifice” yourself. Otherwise do not count on my vote.

  27. Having attempted to read both measures, my jury is still out on 66 since extracting meaningful info from the language is nearly impossible. Now that the state has started pumping up administrative and license fees on everything they can, I am inclined to it vote down. On the coast, we see incredible state waste all the time. ODOT with then guys in vests with clipboards watching one guy with a shovel. ODFW ‘Salmon Stream Studies’ that go on year after year to produce binders of reports no one will ever read.

    I agree with other posters….Hey Koolie! How about a real effort to cut wasteful spending before you characters ask for more money?

    67, however, is different. The minimum corporate tax increase is way, way overdue. Opponent’s claims of gloom, doom and the sky falling over a lousy $140/per year insults our intelligence. Yeah, the jump is a tad on the high side but they have been skating by for way too long….Give me a break, gloom and doomers.

  28. captainjackass

    One of the posters here tells us to read the writing on the wall – that this state has cut back on funding for healthcare. I don’t doubt that program could be in a bad spot now. But have you been to the Human Services Building in Salem? You should check it out, here’s a link about it:

    It’s a very nice building and a lot of marble went into it. I’m sure if there is writing on the walls about failing health programs in Oregon, you’re not likely to see it in the HSB’s lobby. So don’t bitch to anyone about not wanting to fork over money to new taxes. We’ve done it before and the evidence is pretty concrete.

    I wonder if the people who REALLY could’ve used this money like the HSB…

  29. I have an S-corp with 2 employees and I don’t like the way that measure 67 is attempting to correct the long overdue adjustment that all of those evil corporations. These additional fees, (taxes, whatever), don’t affect me a great deal directly but the C-corps could be hit pretty hard, depending on what kind of margins they operate at, (remember this is based on Gross Sales, not Profits). I have to say that I’m also sick of the make the rich pay more mindset, (no I won’t be affected directly beyond the $140 tax+$100 fee adjustment that I’ll have to make.). I work very hard for every dollar I make, I give to numerous charities annually, not as much as I’d like but… at least I get to choose which ones I can support. I volunteer my time, and support local public services, do you? I’m in favor of more taxes for education, and public services, you say you are as well, yet you don’t want to pay a cent more?! Oh, you poor souls, didn’t your grandmothers ever tell you? “You can’t have your cake and eat it too!”

  30. Isn’t it funny that no matter how good or how bad the economy it’s never, ever a good time to raise the minimum wage or to tax the rich?

  31. Hmm, seems to be two separate topics, I don’t think anyone said anything about not taxing the rich; perhaps you haven’t looked at the tax tables? Or did you mean that everyone should be equal, no rich, no poor, everyone existing in peace…. (That happens after this life, ;0)..
    I don’t know where to start with minimum wage as it’s a fictional barrier.. Raise the minimum and everything goes up, the poor as still poor, the middleclass, shrinks a bit more, the rich are still rich, the government takes more taxes and has to provide more services…
    Government grows, Middleclass shrinks and nothing else changes…

  32. Greg hit the nail right on the head. That’s what it’s all about…as long as it doesn’t affect YOUR income then it’s ok to raise taxes. It will not affect my taxes directly, and I’ve had people say that exact thing to me and wonder why I’m voting “no” on 66 & 67 when that is the case. People call the “rich” greedy but the story changes when something affects them directly. “Take their money, not mine!” Pathetic. Those “greedy rich people” and “greedy rich corporations” are the ones providing most of your jobs by the way.

    The biggest point though is that the government is wastes FAR too much money, and the answer is always to raise taxes. Show me you can use the money wisely first before you come and try to take more. They use education and public safety and things like that as leverage to raise taxes almost EVERY time. Hmmm, tax the “rich” or get rid of some teachers and police officers. Pretty easy sell, unless you can see through their lies and schemes. And don’t tell me they don’t lie, since the commercials for 66 & 67 talk only about the tax going up from $10 to $150 and NOTHING about the other negative taxes and effects…but I guess nobody asked, so it’s not LYING, it’s just telling half truths. Open your eyes.

  33. NotRichYet, I appreciate your comments about how hard you work for your money and your companies that you have built. That’s another thing that most people don’t understand…there is a REASON that the people that have money have it. They were willing to WORK for it and DO what it takes to make that money. It takes a LOT of work and time to get to that point, but people look at it like they just woke up rich and are lucky, and should share some of that luck with others. Sorry, that’s not how it works. Why should they all have to pay so much more (this is just adding to the huge taxes that the “rich” already pay as a “penalty” for being successful and having money) because they put in the time and effort? You want to blame someone for not having what you want? Look in the mirror. Stop blaming the rich.

  34. The argument that ‘I’d gladly pay more taxes when the government stops wasting money is nothing more than willful ignorance!!!. You supported
    an immoral, illegal war that is going to cost
    TRILLIONS, has ended four thousand American lives, mamed tens of thousand more American troops, help destabilize the middle east and never once did your crowd utter how utterly wasteful of American dollars these actions were !!! AND your other argument that “tax somebody else but not us!!” is equally hollow. As the US has found out the only way to support these wars and even pretend to attempt to maintain the American way of life is to pump more worthless money into the economy which is just another tax on all of us by diluting the US dollars already shakey stance. I’m pretty suspicious of your motives for protecting those ‘poor little rich people’.

  35. On a note perhaps less philosophical but a bit more pragmatic, it might be a good idea to keep in mind that our neighboring state to the north has NO income tax. I am affected by this tax increase, and know that no argument I could make would be viewed upon by state employee as anything other than narcissistic, so I won’t bother. But I will say that until there’s some new immigration law that prevents me from moving, I have an option, and it’s only 11 miles away. My total relocation costs would be less than one year of this tax increase. And if you think I’m the only one that is considering exactly the same move, I would suggest that you are wrong.

    While you might enjoy your “rich bashing” now, remember later on that it was you that drove away the state’s most financially productive citizens.

    Remember that when your PERS checks start to bounce.

  36. This is not about taxing the “rich”. Assuming that 250k is “rich” is naive. At the threshold, 250k is a middle class family, who has probably worked very hard to get to that point, made lots of sacrifices. 250k is a nice house, a nice car, and kids in private school, not much more.

    But the really crazy thing about the tax hike – last time OR did this, people and corporations left!!! They either moved to Vancouver or corporations moved to friendlier states making unemployment a bigger problem. Corporations don’t have to do business here! If they leave for friendlier states, the jobs go too.

    Its a 2% retroactive tax increase, more as the income goes up because you don’t get to subtract fed. taxes paid.

  37. it honestly doesnt matter if you think its fair to tax these percent of the people that are ‘rich’ or the small businesse.. because taxing the small companies that employ large amounts of people will lead to large amounts of budget cut = job cut= job loss= economical loss. ?

  38. Only government workers and teachers are going to vote for this. You think think this is going to help oregon ? in the long run it will come down to were your going to have to pay as well. its so easy for someone to do the dirty work for you. i wish you union workers get a clue! there going to be more jobs lost, because of this bill. not all business owners have health care and 401 k like you teachers and union works. we have to have to work for it, where its free for you!

  39. I just read here ( that the result of this measure not passing would lead to courts courts closing one day a week. Taxes aren’t any fun but neither is shutting down the city.

  40. Say what you want about either measure. Right or wrong is debatable. What is not is the fact that these taxes are retroactive to 2009, invoking taxes after the fact. I won’t argue the legality, but if this is legal we all know it is wrong.
    We ar sliding down a slippery slope!

  41. It might be helpful if we recognize that people in the higher income brackets represent about 3% of the returns filed but pay approximately 30% of the income tax revenues already (per the dept of revenue’s 2007 statistics). These are people who have spent money on their education, building their business and employing others in the state. The marginal tax rate is a bit deceptive because there is also a higher percent of income being taxed through reducing deductions, exemptions and credits for this income category. The taxable income rises from 70% to 90% in this group.
    What measure 66 is proposing to do, according to the State’s own research, effectively increases the tax burden on this group by 7 – 18%, depending on income and tax year.
    On the other hand, it would also be helpful if we recognize that the State would create a more stable tax base by bringing in jobs (let’s have more than talk about “green” jobs ). People want to get back to work and need entrepreneurs as well as larger corporations to get things going again.

  42. Please vote NO on 66 & 67. I have a small S Corp, no employees. I import expensive horses and resell them in the USA. I am lucky to make $1000 profit on every horse and there is a large risk that comes with owning a live animal. However to tax based on Gross Sales Income would put me instantly out of business because the horse sells for 25 times what my profit is. I can’t afford to pay tax on the sales income, when the horse costs me so much!

    I don’t support teachers losing jobs either but measure 67 is really wrong!!!!!

    I have worked so hard and risked everything for my business. If 67 passes, it will be an instant end to my business.

    NO to 67!!!! Oregonians would never want sales tax but this is way worse 67 will drive each retailer in the supply chain to have to mark up the prices to cover their new tax burden!!!! Food here is already WAY more expensive than in New York State, where I was originally from. My family can’t get over how much more expensive groceries are whenever they visit.

  43. I’m the mother of two young ladies with disabilities, as well as a care provider for adults with disabilities, and a newly graduated middle school teacher. Right at this moment in time, everything I do to provide for my family and the people I serve is at risk.

    My daughters receive in home and community access services through the state. These services allow my daughters to work and go to college while I work and pay the mortgage on our home. They each have caregivers who come into our home and help get them up in the morning and out into the world. Without these services, my girls would not be able to go to work themselves.

    The company I work for on a substitute basis serves adults with disabilities both in their homes and in community work places. I assist several individuals daily in getting out into the community. In doing this, the individuals I serve are able to lead more productive and independent lives. Without these services, the people I serve will not be able to get out of their homes to do even simple tasks such as grocery shopping.

    As a first year teacher, I have been privileged to work in many different schools throughout the county I live in. What I see are schools struggling to keep up with huge populations of students while resources to serve these students are diminishing daily. Class sizes have doubled in most schools, placing nearly 40 students in small classrooms with only one teacher. How many more cuts can our schools take before doors start to close and kids are left on the streets without an education to look forward to.

    I read the jargin about rich vs. middle class and wonder where my family fits. I have always thought of our family as middle class because we own our home. But if middle class is 250,000 a year then I think our family must be well below poverty.

    As a family, we plan to vote “yes” on 66/67. As a mother, a caregiver, and a teacher, I plan to vote “yes” on 66/67. I hope that those businesses and families who will be affected by these taxes will forgive me for being selfish in wanting to preserve the quality of service that our most fragile populations desperately need.

  44. Sue,

    Because you own an S Corporation, your gross sales are not a factor. Only C Corporations get taxed onerously. Your S Corporation taxes/fees are only increasing from $10.00 to $ 250.00 per year, a mere 2500% increase. By the way, NOT ONE PENNY of your proposed tax/fee increase is earmarked for education. A portion goes directly to the Secretary of State and the rest goes into the general coffers for distribution as the legislature sees fit.

    Now, you will be seeing the prices of your horses go up if you are purchasing them from C Corporations, because a C Corporation would have to charge you more in order to cover the onerous taxes that Measure 67 places upon C Corporations.

    In fact, everyone that purchases anything from a C Corporation will see higher prices. Businesses do not pay tax. They collect tax. The purchaser pays the tax, whether or not the tax shows on the receipt. So remember that every time you purchase anything from Fred Meyer, Safeway, Albertsons, WalMart, Home Depot, Office Max, etc. A vote for Measure 67 is a vote for higher prices all across Oregon.

  45. Fiddes, you are right, all taxes are passed on to the consumer. However, remember what you just wrote costs (in this case taxes) are passed on to the consumer. So, until you control spending of corporations we all will continue to pay high prices as corporate executive “fat cats” get their huge salaries, expensive cars etc.

    By the way, study how S Corporations work. They have a neat way of not paying any taxes but still make high profits. Excuse me, high salaries for the executives only.

  46. As a small business owner I am voting NO on these taxes. The state of Oregon imposes enough taxes and fees on small business. As a matter of fact they have made more money off of my business then I have. People have to wake up and smell the coffee why do we teach history in school if we dont learn by it. History shows that raising taxes is bad for everyone except the government.

  47. As a small C corporation business owner I will vote no on 66 and 67 I do not understand this tax the rich mentallity, do people not realize that all taxes are always, always paid for by the consumer and the lower to middle class. Businees will increase prices to offset whatever tax increase they have to pay.
    The result of this tax increase will cause inflation and jobs in Oregon. Here is why. Companies who are now purchasing goods from other businesses, suppliers based in Oregon will see an increase in cost because all the businesses in the supply chain are going to increase pricing to overcome the tax burden. Therefore comp-anies may find more competitive pricing purchasing there goods from companies based in other States where the tax burden is lower.

  48. While I do not make anywhere close to 250k (filing jointly) and have 2 kids, I completely do not support this witch-hunt against rich people.

    It is some kind of twisted view of fairness that many people have. Just because the measure only affects 3% of population does not mean it is just or fair. If those of you who support this measure care so much about your kids having few less school days, then pay up at least something for it from your own pocket too.

    It is always easier to care about some issue when you are not the one who has to pay for it.

    Another point is that line itself (250k/125k) does not really represent “rich” person. Co-worker/friend of mine is about to reach 125k boundary and let me tell you — he is no way rich. He drives 7 year old car, has a small house and hopes to be able to pay back his 40k$ university loan one day.

    Instead of raising taxes state should re-examine their budget and how/who gets the “free” money. My wife works at a convenience store and she daily sees tons of people with food stamps buying soda drinks and candies… Just walk into any specialty food store like russian or german stores — you will see so many people buying really expensive food with stamps.

  49. Gordon Fiddes says that M. 66 & 67 are “retroactive.” That’s a lie.
    These modest tax increases were passed early last year by the state legislature & signed into law by the governor. The only reason it seems “retroactive” is because the out-of-state corporate union-busting right-wingers paid millions to gather signatures in order to force us to have to vote on it now, almost a year after it was passed.
    The amount of lies being spewed against this reasonable & necessary tax increase is ridiculous, but we’ve come to expect that from the anti-tax wingnuts. I just wish they’d let our duly elected leaders in Salem do what we elected them to do: raise revenue to pay for essential services & infrastructure!

  50. Hey Chuck: there are only TWO other states in this whole country where the corporate tax burden is lower than it is in Oregon (3.7%).

    I’m starting to wonder if “Oregonians Against Job Killing Taxes” might be paying wingnuts to spread misinformation against m. 66 & 67. It seems likely, given that all their rants have the same false talking points.

    Oh, and to “See Ya”: don’t let the door hit yr ass on the way out. Good riddance to ya!

  51. Bob Soper, thank you for reading my post. Could you define “early”? Did the governor wait 8 months to sign the “early” legislation into law? I hope not, because then he would be complicit in the scheme.

    Multnomah County retroactively raised taxes a few years ago. They had to send out a second invoice to collect the retroactive taxes. Now, it was only three months retroactive, but it was retroactive. It was enough to convince Columbia Sportswear to move out of Portland.

    What level makes a tax retroactive? One day. My company, along with all other Oregon companies, has already billed for the work in 2009. Billing was based on the tax level we had at the beginning of the year because we didn’t expect the tax topography to change. My business is small, but large businesses considering their home in Oregon need to know the legislature is not going to reach into the past to grab money. There are enough risks in running a business without the legislature and governor pulling a fast one. Retroactive taxes are bad now and bad for the future of Oregon.


  52. I think many people misunderstand or deliberately mislead others about the gross sales tax for C-corps. I keep reading references to “onerous” gross sales taxes. But the minimum tax being set by measure 67 is one tenth of one percent (or less!) of gross sales, and doesn’t even kick in until you’re moving $500,000 or more per year. You can move up to a million dollars per year and still only pay $500 in tax. It seems to me that if you’re making that many sales and can’t afford $500, you’re doing something wrong in your business model. And this helps address the ubiquitous practice of corporate accountants juggling the books to show whatever profit they want and paying the bare minimum tax level. This way, at least such a corporation will still pay .05 to .1% of their gross sales.

    I feel repulsed by people (not on this website, but elsewhere) who write statements like “a company making no profits can be charged up to $100,000 in taxes!” without mentioning that such a company would have to move more than $100,000,000 (100 million dollars) per year. Just more of the same lies you always see spread around these issues.

  53. Gordon: if you were paying attention last year, you would have known that the legislature was planning to raise taxes to cover huge projected revenue shortfalls. Many school districts in Oregon (though Portland’s isn’t one of them) budgeted on the assumption that the tax increase would be referred (as it was) and defeated (as it hopefully won’t be); perhaps you should’ve budgeted on the assumption that the tax would take effect.
    Also, as Norris points out in the comment above this one, it’s not as if this tax increase on Oregon business is particularly onerous: if your annual sales (as a C-corp) are between $10 million and $25 million, surely coughing up $15 thousand bucks shouldn’t be that hard, especially given the fact that your business depends on Oregon services & infrastructure, an educated workforce, etc.

  54. Businesses plan AHEAD, just as the Oregon legislature should. When I heard about them considering raising taxes on businesses, I figured they would raise them in the upcoming year. Instead of making the law effective in 2010, the legislature chose to reach into the past. It would be like you purchasing a television at Fred Meyer, and the next time you come into the store, Fred Meyer tells you that they undercharged you, so you will have to pay more for the television before you can purchase anything else. If Fred Meyer did that, you would just shop somewhere else because Fred Meyer has competition.

    The Oregon legislature acts like it has a monopoly. Unfortunately, Oregon does not have a monopoly on businesses. Businesses have options. I regularly hear radio advertisements touting the advantages for Portland area businesses to relocate to Kalama, Washington. When Portland invites foreign corporations to visit, they also visit Vancouver, and seriously consider locating there. When Washington increases their sales tax, it is always sometime in the FUTURE. I have NEVER seen Washington retroactively implement a single sales tax hike.

    We are not living in a vacuum. There are repercussions to bad laws, and the people of Oregon have an opportunity to erase this bad law which will cause irreparable harm to the Oregon economy by chasing more businesses away from and out of Oregon.

    Bob Soper said this: “…surely coughing up $15 thousand bucks shouldn’t be that hard…” I have said it many times, but the message still does not seem to be getting across. BUSINESSES DON’T PAY TAXES. BUSINESSES COLLECT TAXES. The ones coughing up the fifteen thousand bucks will be the customers of Bob’s example business located in Oregon. There are two ways for every Oregonian to avoid paying the taxes on Measure 67: either VOTE NO on Measure 67 or shop in Washington (no Measure 67 tax collected by businesses and sales tax free for Oregonians).

    When Fred Meyer, Safeway, Albertsons, and WalMart, pay the $100,000 Measure 67 tax on their gross sales, and their major suppliers pay the $100,000 Measure 67 tax on their gross sales (yes, every time goods change hands from a C-corporation the tax is applied again and again), who do you think pays the hidden tax? Every time you fill your grocery cart, you will be paying the Measure 67 tax. But Measure 67 is not limited to taxing grocery sales, it is a tax on EVERYTHING sold in Oregon by any large C-corporation.

  55. Gordon Fiddes, why would you assume that the state legislature, facing a huge budget shortfall (a problem faced by almost every state in the Union today, thanks to the unbridled greed and fraud running rampant on Wall Street), would wait until April 2011 for the revenue that’s needed now? They made no secret of the fact that they were working on tax policy for 2009. This whole “retroactive” argument is a red herring, conjured out of nothing, to scare voters into voting against their own interests.
    OK, let’s suppose that Fred Meyer, Inc. has to pay the $100,000 corporate minimum tax on their sales totalling HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of dollars— if they pass the cost onto their shoppers (which I have no doubt they will), it might add up to maybe an extra penny or two tacked onto each $100 I spend there on groceries. If that’s the price I must pay to keep my friend, a single mom, from getting kicked off the Oregon Health Plan, that’s fine by me.
    Oregon has the THIRD LOWEST corporate tax burden in the country. If your hypothetical C-Corp decides to locate up in Clark County just because they don’t want to pay their fair share in taxes, that’s fine. Not the sort of corporate citizen we should want here anyway. Keep in mind that in Washington they have the hassle of dealing with sales taxes & all that entails.
    The “irreparable harm” you think will result from business and the wealthy paying slightly higher taxes pales in comparison to the REAL harm which would result from the defeat of 66 & 67: the downgrading of Oregon’s credit rating; massive tuition hikes for community & state colleges; teachers all over the state losing their jobs; and the loss of over a BILLION dollars in federal matching funds.
    Mr. Fiddes, I’m not going to convince you to support this modest tax increase on those who can most afford to pay it, but I will work (and volunteer) to make sure that the voters in my community are not fooled by the false arguments made by those who just want the obscenely rich to get richer and screw everybody else.

  56. Bob,
    You are correct to point out that Oregon corporate taxes are extremely low compared to other states–how then is it that we are not attracting business and also have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country? Could it be that the state unfairly penalizes those who would head up those businesses, or that the state is not spending its revenue in a manner that would support business growth?

    The fact is that these increases, by targeting a minority of the population, are unstable and cannot solve the ongoing budget problems we see over and over again. Oregon will only stabilize its revenue when it can bring in jobs.

  57. in response to what gordon was saying. your saying that if oregon raises taxes to corporations like walmart and fred meyers that it will raise the products price if they are a 100 million dollar corporation that is $100,000 tax are you thinking in a multi million dollar corporation that the ceo cant take 100,00 out of his pocket or other executive pockets to help pay for the well being of this state it will barely raise the prices of the products in the store

  58. Using a large interstate corporation is not really a good example, since most of those are making a comfortable profit upon which the regular corporate tax will be based AND because the proposed measure caps the tax for sales over $100 Million. That means if a large corporation was actually in the situation to be paying the minimum tax, it is in effect given a tax break. Secondly, this tax applies indiscriminately at every step on the supply chain so the effects on the consumer are compounded.
    Bottom line is that the small businesses and startups will be disproportionately paying (collecting) this tax making them less competitive.

  59. Bob Soper, this legislature has done it backwards; raising taxes in a bad recession and adding state government jobs while the private sector jobs are plummeting. It is no wonder you talk about “massive tuition hikes for community & state colleges and teachers all over the state losing their jobs”. Education is last on the list for this legislature. They fund their pet projects and run out of money for education. How convenient… They think they can paint us into a corner to make us vote for a tax hike “for the children’s sake”. Well, education should be one of the FIRST things funded, not last.

    These dire predictions are only made possible because the legislature has decided to put education last. When our household income went down we stopped buying. The Oregon legislature just keeps spending and hiring whether times are good or bad. So if state taxable income is down, the liberal legislature’s answer is to raise taxes/fees and invent new ones and make them retroactive. And they choose to hold education hostage! I don’t buy it. The end result is Measures 66 and 67 will chase away businesses and people who know how to make money and employ workers; which is exactly what Oregon needs NOW.

    If Oregon wants an economy that competes for Michigan’s current situation, Measures 66 and 67 will take us that direction. Both states have liberal legislatures. Michigan killed some of their golden geese: Our liberal legislature won’t even let a golden goose make a nest here. Lumber used to be our golden goose. Nike, Intel, and HP are the closest things we have to a golden goose, and they are slipping away. But the largest employer in Oregon continues to be “the state of Oregon”.

  60. Michigan’s economic base was NOT decimated by TAXES, Gordon. It, along with Oregon and most other states, are dealing with massive budget shortfalls precisely because of tax policies which favor the rich and powerful. When the distribution of wealth becomes as unequal as it has, DEMAND falls– simply because all of the money is in the hands of a few greedy families, leaving nobody else able to buy things and keep the economy going. Of course, if we (like every other industrialized country) has single-payer national health insurance, Michigan’s auto industry would have been in a far more competitive position.
    And just how did the Oregon “liberal legislature” kill that so-called “golden goose,” LUMBER?
    Dude, you’ve got to do better than that.

  61. How the legislature killed lumber in Oregon is for a different topic, but suffice it to say that the evidence is clear: Lumber is a minor slice of Oregon’s economy, and, until recently, was a major portion. Laws changed that; not lack of demand or lack of supply. But that is not a Measure 66 67 issue, so I want to stay on topic.

    The lessons of Plymouth Plantation must be learned once again.

    Michigan’s thriving economy has been decimated by an entitlement mentality. Henry Ford determined the best road to success was to pay his employees enough so they could afford to buy the cars they were making. He set the stage for Michigan’s booming economy. If he thought small, the workers would have been paid less and he might personally have been richer, but he struck a good balance that benefited everyone beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. If the workers were overpaid, the company would have faltered and been swallowed up by some other company (not unlike what has happened recently). There has to be a balance. The free market ought to determine the proper balance.

    Unfortunately, taxes upset that balance when they are not adapted to the times. Increasing taxes in times of economic distress upsets the balance. When the government sucks more money out of its major industries in times of trouble and keeps demanding more from the successful people, then the entrepreneurial incentive is diminished, and companies and individuals look elsewhere to invest their time in order to reap the rewards of their labor, or they just stop working so hard. This is a natural function of the free market. This is one of the reasons why Measures 66 and 67 are so corrosive, especially during a bad economy.

    When people stop working and expect a handout from the government because they feel entitled to a handout, that handout has to come from somewhere. The natural place for government to get the handout is from those who are industrious, since they seem to have so much. That is similar to how it worked at Plymouth Plantation at the beginning. It was a communal situation where all shared alike in the benefits of the community’s labor, and resulted in near starvation. Not until each person was allowed to farm his own land and keep the fruits of his own labor did the colony thrive.

  62. It appears to me that not matter which way you vote on 66 & 67, it is a vote for higher unemployment! The state is holding public jobs at ransom and the private industry is promising lost jobs. This also appears, to me, to be a back door sales tax! I guess the question is this, Oregonians. Are you fed up with your state government increasing it’s influence over your private lives and it’s practice of raising taxes through deception? If so, note NO!

  63. First of all, I have no sympathy for the whining of people making more than $250K per year. Actually, I belong in this category but in hard economic times everybody should contribute. In such a steep recession, government spending is ncessary to get us past it. Once the economy is growing everybody will make more money including those that make more than 250K.

    Second, the corporate tax is just a Value-Added-Tax (VAT). VAT is similar to a sales tax, only unlike a sales tax it is collected at every stage of the supply chain. The problem is that as it is being implemented, it is highly regressive. Most countries that have implemented VAT have differential rates for basic necessities vs. discretionary/luxury items. If you don’t do that, you basically shift the tax burden to the poor. If someone buys a carton of milk at a convenience store, the carton will have changed hands 3 or 4 times within OR before it is sold to the consumer. If someone buys a carton of milk at Costco, there will be a single sale in OR. Who is more likely to shop for milk at convenience store? Furthermore, poor people are less likely to buy expensive items online from out-of-state shops where it will difficult or impossible to collect this tax. So, for those high income folks upset about the new taxes, don’t worry, everybody is getting it.

    Third, waste is an issue and it should be addressed. Oregon has miserable infrastructure including schools compared to many other states. It won’t be solved with more money. I hardly have seen any improvements in the last 12 years that I have been living in Oregon.

  64. I can’t figure out what to think about these measures. I know we must “tighten the belt,” regardless of whether we pass these measures, but the controversy to me is that the areas that are always to be cut are education and healthcare. In the article it said something about cut backs in the area of “public safety,” well, if you’re referring to law enforcement, let’s do it! I used to be very pro-law enforcement until I saw how much money was spent and wasted on new police cruisers so cops can sit on the side of the road all day trying to catch someone not using their turn signal! It’s absurd how much money is wasted in law enforcement so they can levy unfair and ridiculous fines against the people. Law enforcement has become a for-profit business, and it makes me sick. How many brand-new police cruisers, and 100k a year salaries can we pay without complaining? I want to see Oregon up our spending on EDUCATION and lower the spending on law enforcement, we are over-policed and they aren’t even doing their jobs! Why do we still have SO much meth in Oregon? That’s what could really help Oregon. Getting rid of all the meth, and therefore a large portion of property-related crimes. Oh, wait, if we got rid of all the meth the police wouldn’t have anything to do… hmmmm

  65. Vote NO on 66 & 67, do it for the kids

    The education mafia has gotten over 50% of the state’s budget for years and the kids are still functional illiterates. They can’t do math or science and don’t know American history, and those are just the teachers. If they can’t get along with half the state budget now vote NO on 66/67 so they can do just as bad a job educating with less. Salaries for state employees and educators should be reduced to the state average income, and retirement benefits reduced to 20% of salary.

    I own a small LLC business and already get nothing for my what I do pay, and can’t afford to pay more money for nothing. I’ll close the LLC and move the business out of state if 66/67 passes. I don’t owe the state of Oregon any portion of my labor and refuse to be an economic slave for the plantation owners of Salem.

  66. This will kill jobs. You people that say corporations can afford $150 a year….HAHAHA why don’t you read the measure. Understand 66 and 67 before you open your mouth. I have a small business here and we are taxed to death!! And these measures add way more tax than $150. If this passes, I will have to fire 3 of my 12 employees. I have to live and work within my budget……Send a message to the Oregon Gov’t to stop spending. Can you believe that people that work for the Oregon School District make between $150,000 & $250,000. Yes they do. The education system sucks. And our government is broken. MAX loses $1,000,000 a day. Sure wish I could own a business that loses $1,000,000 a day. And when I run out of money….I just steal more from the working folks. Tell Oregon to shove it….with a vote of NO on 66 and 67. Make them squirm.

  67. Pingback: Individuals on the streets, labor allies protest U.S. Bank in Ashland « For those who can’t afford free speech

  68. I have lived on both sides of the 250K taxable line. Growing up in a household that made 250K, I was raised to be frugal, philanthropic and hard working. While I have upheld all of these principles, I am now an adult, living paycheck to paycheck in this tough economy. It is doubtful that I will ever see that level of personal wealth again. However, my parents continue to live in the 250K and higher bracket, but their net worth has dropped by half, thanks in part to the ides of the recession and their hefty payments to both the federal and state governments. They earned every penny and are now losing more and more of it to support the increasing number of public programs and other government-implemented taxes. It is unjust to continually siphon their earnings into an ambiguous cash pot (generally mismanaged by self-serving politicians), without asking the remainder of the population to follow suit. If we are going to build esoteric programs via taxes, it’s only fair that we ALL contribute in taxes. Just like the evils of racism, sexism and ageism, this is wealth-ism. I don’t want to part with my few measly wages more than the next person, but there’s no reason to take a polarizing dogmatic stance toward any one segment of society. To favor the taxation of a particular income bracket illuminates the many issues that abound in today’s world: jealousy, disdain, misconceptions and misguided moral codes.

  69. It’s a sales tax. 0.5% of all gross income means that either prices for everything will go up 0.5%, or the businesses will lose profits (or increase losses).

    A tax placed on everything that a company sells is a sales tax.

  70. State run agencies operate like ‘get it done today or tomorrow or next week’. If government agencies were run like private businesses, with a mind towards efficiency, We wouldn’t see 8 state workers on a road repair job, with 1 person actually doing work while the other 7 stand around and watch, or “look busy”. Everyone knows that state work is considered a ‘cush job’.. well, those ‘cush jobs’ are paid for by people like us. The State needs to make itself efficient before asking for more money. When the business worker suffers in a recession, the State worker can suffer right along side us, rather than extract more funds to support its own comfort.

  71. Pingback: Poll: Oregon voters likely to to raise taxes on corporations, wealthy | Raw Story

  72. I think that there is an underlying principal here that is being completely overlooked. Aside from the way they raise taxes, and aside from who they tax, there is a deeper issue. Let me explain. When I plan each month in my personal finances, there are somethings that come first. For instance, I put aside my mortgage, my water/sewer bill, my power bill, gas money and food for my family before anything else. I take care of the necessities before I spend money on new laptops, or a new car, or even a night out with my wife.
    There should be no difference with state spending. When they pan their budget, they need to put the things that are crucial, like kids, police, fire, infrastructure etc. before they go and give themselves raises, expanding agency funding and even give to other agencies at all. If they cannot be responsible with how they plan to spend the money that they have been entrusted with, then regardless of how, there should be no new taxes. These politicians must come to realize that if they cannot take care of the essentials in this state, that they cannot go and spend more other places, and then come up short for the vitals, and come to the tax payers and ask for more.
    Coming back to the example I gave, if I was to take my check and go buy a laptop, and start payment on a new car, and go out to dinner with my wife, I would be out of money. This bill is then the equivalent of my calling up my parents and saying, hey dad, your grand kids are going to starve if you don’t send me some money for the house and some food, I just don’t make enough! That would be obviously highly irresponsible. To the politicians in Salem, and further on in Washington DC, balance your budget, take care of the essentials before you up spending on anything else. Vote NO on 66, and 67.

  73. This is unarguably the most ridiculous example of an insult to the public’s intelligence I’ve ever seen.

    Those of you who voted for 66 and 67, did you read and understand what and why you were voting?

    I don’t own a corporation, and I don’t make anywhere near $250,000, but I see RIGHT through this ridiculous attempt by our state legislatures to avoid exactly what the public has been forced to do: cut unnecessary spending.

    Does anyone actually live in the misconception that corporations pay taxes? I mean, of course they do…. but if you follow the chain of money, in reality – the people pay those taxes.

    Simply put, any attempt to raise taxes DIRECTLY affects the bottom income brackets.

    Call it whatever you want.

  74. Jennifer Marcum

    So while the rich get richer the poor continue to get poorer. Wow. Our children are the ones who will ultimately be hurt if this measure fails. I am sure all of you make over 250,000 as a couple or 125,000 as an individual. My husband and I barely made 40,000 and I pay thousands of dollars in taxes and corporations only pay 10.00 and the new tax will increase the amount to 150.00 wow and I pay thousands. And somehow we consider this fair. I voted yes and will continue to vote yes on any tax increase that will help our schools, health care and public safety, because its the right thing to do.

  75. Actually, Jennifer, The “right” thing to do would be to read, and understand what you’re voting on prior to voting.

    I, along with 75% of those opposed to 66/67 make FAR less than 250K…. the difference is that we read the measures….. and we thought about the implications.

    It’s done and over with….. I just wish that the majority of Oregonians had the ability to think for themselves rather than rely on ad campaigns to tell them how to vote.

    FYI: I have 3 kids in school, and am appalled at these measures….. they insult my intelligence, and show me the lack of intelligence of the average voter.

  76. Jennifer Marcum, it is voters like you that encourage the legislature to fund education last. They know they can count on your tax increase vote if they fund education last, after they have spent the existing tax dollars on pet projects.

    Education should be among the first items funded, not the last. Haven’t you noticed that most every tax increase is touted as necessary to fund education? This pattern has got to end. School districts across Oregon still don’t know how much they will receive from the state because the legislature did not do its job.

    So the next time you vote “for the children”, only vote for a legislator and state senator that will vote to fund education in full before pet projects. Our school districts deserve better priority than last place.

    By the way, please read this open letter from a corporation that “only pays $10.00”. . As a small business owner, I intimately understand how many taxes a business collects for government. The $10.00 figure is only the smallest droplet on which measure 66/67 supporters focus most of their attention.

  77. I voted yes on both measures. I was told by a key member of the legislature, that they can iron out measure 67 to help the low income , struggling corporations if needed. if it passes, ask them to refine that. But please vote for it right now as a basic remedy to the current appalling situation of NOT taxing the wealthy corp’s appropriately.
    Measure 66 has no bad side, if you’re talking about a small incremental increase in tax on the wealthy. 125,000 is way above the middle income sector, they actually left out a huge slice of the upper incomes, the tier just above middle class.
    Here’s a big reason why i voted for 66 and 67 both:

    Click to access 09_statewide.pdf

    that’s the state of oregon’s official january 2009 homeless count all broken down into interesting statistics.
    1- we need more funding for the social safety net , especially housing for homeless and those at risk.
    2–we need the state officials and decision makers to allocate funds appropriately, instead of ignoring the homeless and the destitute who were in many cases, born here and have no where else to go. housing is first, without it, people can’t get back on their feet.

    Also needing funded– the new Oregon General Assistance bill, which did not get voted on, which would have covered disabled people with a form of welfare grant to help them tide over after they have applied for ssi. Because it usually takes at least 18 months to get the disability ss or the ssi, so in the meantime people fall thru the cracks and become homeless, die from lack of safety net, etc. Then with the General Assistance bill, it says that the social security admin reimburses the state, for the money paid out to the individuals, once they get their claim approved. So it basically pays for itself after the first year or so! But this one needs funded right now, we have thousands of disabled who have no income and no benefits right now— many of those are living on the streets or should I say dying on the streets and in the hospitals with pneumonia etc.

  78. kim, i’m so sorry your wealthy parents have to pay a percentage point more on their taxes, and the struggling, hurting 50 year old battered grandma on $550 a month doesn’t , with measure 66. NOT.
    This is not discrimination, in the sense of those other genres such as race or gender or whatever. It is the most noble form of accountability, such as in the Bible: “from whom much is given, much shall be required”. Given, yes! or they never would have it in the first place. they would have worked hard and never gotten ahead if it hadn’t been given to them, or allowed, by God or in some cases the devil!
    There is such a thing as social responsibility, every decent and healthy society expects more from its wealthy members, whether it is hunter gatherers or western civ professionals. If you really think wealthy people “got ” their wealth by their own virtues, and by their own efforts and no one else’s, you are not living in reality. Most wealthy people have a knowledge of how to gain advantage over others and thus get more money out of them, however abstractly this may be applied. think about it. Someone who has a vital professional skill, can command $200 per hour, and no one can argue. We are daily bled by such costs, and many simply cannot afford to pay the price of things such as legal help when it might save a life, because it is overpriced: and healthcare, which is overpriced and many are too poor. So this tax on those wealthy professionals and other wealthy people, is basically leveling the playing field so that the poor can simply survive in spite of being unable to afford basics. In this way the greedy self centered ignorant grabbers have to give back, though they don’t have a clue why. They are far removed from the poor and don’t bother to look, or find out the effects of what they themselves and others do.
    so stop thinking the wealthy are somehow just, in their “entitlement thinking” of how they are so entitled to profit off of others and cheat people continually with their high priced everything, while ignoring the people that they have helped to bankrupt and make destitute. Which they as a whole, as well as bad government, have had a huge hand in causing whether they know it or not.


    The top income limit for middle class (the middle 20% of all incomes in the usa) is around $60,000. That’s for all households, regardless of size.
    Even if you took a larger segment, the middle 60% of all incomes, the upper limit of the middle class would still be no more than about $97,000 max, according to the US census statistics.

    so it looks to me, like the usual ignorance, manipulations, lies and self serving prejudices of wealthier people are fully operating on this page above, along with their usual condition of being totally out of touch with the reality of life for people who have far less and can’t get by.
    Kim, please grow up and realize that your parents philosophy and attitude aren’t appropriate for someone in your shoes– oops, i forgot, you want to inherit their wealth.

  80. Hey, I have a great idea! Let’s raise the taxes on those that are providing the jobs that are still around. Here’s another idea, let’s continue to add tax liabilities instead of taking ownership for our own actions. Our State Government should be ashamed of itself for further imposing tax liabilities. Instead, our government should face up to their own inabilities to manage the funds that they do have. Let’s start putting money into education, and slow our giving money to the poor. Let’s create a need to work, and provide those organizations that employ the money needed to continue providing jobs. This state is crawling with polititions that don’t know how to take care of the people. I could care less about the liberal minded management and would like to see more action. As I write this, I am sure that our government is figuring out a way to raise my property taxes. You suck!!!!!

  81. I for one have first hand experiences of why these measures are BAD 1. My husband’s construction company will have to close it’s doors – that means those who work for him -about 6 full time people (20 or so when things are going well) – will be out of work. This is not some fantasy idea that people will lose their jobs – it’s reality. And this is not do to some corporate tax raising from $10 – it’s the issue of being taxed on gross not net income. Companies with high overhead will be screwed should these pass tonight.
    2. My best friend works for a group home company which backs these measures – the company tried to force her to wear a yes button, and conviently “cut” hours on many full time employees just recently – trying to prove just how dire their needs are. The company will prevail without this measure – and if not you will see more privately ran group homes – is that that terrible? Besides – you can not intimidate your employees on voting matters!
    3. Are taxes are percentage based. That means if you make more you pay more. The “rich” are already paying more in taxes than the lower income – that’s how a percentage works. Should we punish those who work hard? Eliminate motivation to succeed?
    4. The education system won’t fail – the government won’t let it – how would that make us look to others wanting to invest in us as a state or as a country. The government wants things to look bad – just enough to get measures like this passed.
    5. As far as the medicade, OHP, food stamps, etc. The problem is not how much funding their is to support these programs – the problem is the amount of fraud that is occuring among people asking for benefits. I know a girl from work who is getting 1,000 a month if food stamps (doesn’t claim she lives with her husband – which she does) and intentionally stays below $2,000 a month so she doesn’t lose her medical, foodstamps, and housing assistance – she makes less than the state pays out in childcare expenses for her 5 kids – would make more financial sense for her to stay home with her kids and save the state the money. I know 20 more stories like this and I am one person! FRAUD is the problem here – not funding.

  82. forcing moms to work while on welfare is not their idea. that law should be changed if they need to be at home instead.
    write your legislators in salem after you have done your books and taxes, tell them why the law should be altered because they can do that. it doesnt have to stay one size fits all for corporations.
    or change the form of business he is registered as.

  83. Is there any one who seriously believes that “rich” corporations actually only pay $10? You have got to be kidding me. This is an example of how the gullible masses can be swayed by manipulation, “Save the Children” . Like I said before, regardless of the way it is enacted, any tax that dangles these carrots, using things that should be first priority, not last, should be voted down. We cannot allow ourselves to jerked around by this nonsense. If they really wanted to know who supports tax increases, they should have done it fir the reason of giving themselves raises like they did anyway, or giving money to special interest groups, like they did anyway. They should never fund those things first, and then come asking for money for schools, and police and infrastructure.
    It is clear that for the majority of Orgonians, the glass is muddled.

  84. I am broke. My hours/week worked are down to 10. Luckily my wife has a good job. But we are poor. I think 66/67 are stupid. Let’s tax my rich boss and I bet my hours will be cut to zero.

    How about instead of taxing the wealthy smart people who took advantage of the freedoms in this capitalist society, we limit government spending, cut the extremely good pay and benefits of state workers??!! Also, every person on welfare/disability has to pass random drug test and if they show up as positive, they get none of our tax dollars.

    That will get tons o money for education, etc

  85. ***How many jobs will a corporation cut if it has to pay $140 more per year. That’s less than the fully-loaded cost of employing someone for ONE DAY at minimum wage***

    There you go, being dishonest. The tax raised is the MINIMUM corporate tax. The only people this tax will affect is small businesses – people running things out of their homes, for example. The big eeeevil corporations already pay far more than this and will continue to do so.

  86. There is a extremely limited amount of money in the entire country, and that money is located somewhere. Where? It is not located with me. 250K?? Not a lot of money? Are you kidding? 250K a year is not a lot of money??? Try living on $13,000.

    Tax the businesses that have flooded into our state, because of the zero sales tax that is not in place. They come here, work here, pay min taxes, and tear the place to shreds. A few build houses on the mountains (mountains that wer formerly the charm of the area),and then look down on those below. When we look up, we have the misfortune of viewing their stupid homes (fortunately the rattlesnakes in my area or docile, because the snakes surely live on those mountains.).

    Most didn’t care about keeping the state clean and green. Most of them just brought their dirty habits with them, and they will stay here until this place is like where they just came from.

    We should get a sales tax, as well.

  87. ***There is a extremely limited amount of mony in the entire country***

    No there isn’t. There is so much money in the country’s (and indeed the world’s) economy that for all practical purposes the money supply can be considered infinite. I’ll get back to this in a second.

    ***and that money is located somewhere. Where?***

    It is located with people that have earned it.

    ***It is not located with me.***

    Probably because you haven’t earned it.

    Back to that infinite money supply. Of course it’s not infinite but it might as well be.

    Some people have the idea that if someone has a large sum of money, then someone else must necessarily have less. Sort of like a big money pie – if one guy gets a big piece then someone else has to get shorted.

    That is an incorrect view.

    Unlike a fixed-sized pie, money can be created. By gathering the raw materials, adding labor, skill and knowledge, money pie can be baked all day long by anyone with the will to do it. That’s what all these “rich” people are doing – they are baking money pie. And you can too.

    ***Tax the businesses that have flooded into our state, because of the zero sales tax that is not in place***

    That’s right, tax the people that are creating jobs. Down the the evil employers!

    Zero sales tax helps YOU, not businesses! Fine, slap a sales tax in place, but know that everything you buy will be more expensive for it.

  88. in response to rocket poetry:

    you dont consider 250,000 a year rich? well maybe not ROCK STAR RICH atleast lower classification RICH. I went to school 4 years landed a job, busted my butt for six years and finally made it to 18.86 an hour, i killed my self at 12 hour days six days a week and barely scrape by at 50,000/ year. so you tax a person $150 more out of your 250,000 you sad sack of money grubbing cry baby! BIG DEAL the problem is that the government dont tax the rich MORE. the people at the bottom have to pay the same amount as the middle class and rich and barely make it pay check to pay check doing harder work than you pencil pushers. and further more the less you make the less taxes you should pay.

  89. ***so you tax a person $150 more out of your 250,000 you sad sack of money grubbing cry baby!***

    Who said anything about $150? It’s WAY more than $150. The $150 is just the minimum amount any small business has to pay. So if you form a lawn mowing business and just sit on it without actually doing anything you still have to pay that minimum tax. There are lots of businesses sitting idle and not earning money – I have two that I haven’t gotten off the ground yet. I’d have to pay that $150 for nothing.

    ***The people at the bottom have to pay the same amount as the middle class and rich and barely make it pay check to pay check doing harder work than you pencil pushers. ***

    That’s a load of crap. The middle class and the rich pay FAR more in taxes than those making it paycheck to paycheck. Pencil pushers? Sounds like you have a little class envy going on. Some people use their brains, others dig ditches. Don’t like it? Learn a new skill and make more money.

    Last year I wrote a check to the IRS for $72,000. That was on top of my salary withholding. I think I’m paying my fair share. I know I’m contributing more than you are. Stop bellyaching.

    ***and further more the less you make the less taxes you should pay.***

    The less you make the less you pay – that’s a fact.

  90. ***I went to school 4 years landed a job, busted my butt for six years and finally made it to 18.86 an hour, i killed my self at 12 hour days six days a week and barely scrape by at 50,000/ year***

    You’re working hard but it doesn’t sound like you’re working smart.

    I dropped out of school during my junior year (I was 21) and got a job paying 32k (this was 1992). Busted my butt at that job and three more along the way and now I make low 6-figures.

    If you want to make more than you are then you need to learn some new skills and find a different line of work. You are where you are because you chose to be there.

  91. Well it is clear that the big 3 counties have screwed the rest of the state again. Always schools are in need of money are children are at risk. Every time the legislators need more money they screw the rest of the state. The Dems have controlled this state for over 30 years. It would appear it is time for a change. These are the same problems this state has every year. Southern and eastern Oregon are slowly being put down by the big 3. Time for change

  92. matt, you are a prime example of someone making a lot of money because they obviously CHARGE a lot and or SKIM HUGE PROFITS and this money comes from where? the money tree? making money pie? off of SEVERAL POOR PEOPLE’S DUMB NOT SMART, HARD LABOR. WHILE THEY GO HOME POOR ON PAYDAY. TO MAKE YOU RICH! and not only rich, but claiming some kind of credit and gloating and rubbing it in on poor folk who know no better. And not everyone would take advantage of the ignorance of others to make them poor and keep them poor.
    that’s why you have to pay a pittance more now. we don’t like your kind and we’ve had enough.

  93. ***matt, you are a prime example of someone making a lot of money because they obviously CHARGE a lot and or SKIM HUGE PROFITS***

    Nope. That was taxes on the return from investments I sold.

    *** and this money comes from where? ***

    The money comes from my work. I work for an employer – I do not own the business. I have been saving since I was in college (almost 20 years ago). When I was 21 I was saving $600 per month. I was making $32k.

    I drive a 12 year old car with 200k miles on it.


    Nope, it was off my MY labor. Got it? I am the one that goes to work each day.

    ***and not only rich, but claiming some kind of credit and gloating and rubbing it in on poor folk who know no better.***

    Rubbing it in? I’m just trying to point out that the people you call “rich” are just people that word hard, save their money and avoid making stupid choices (yes, choices) that keep them poor. Things like having babies before they graduate from college.k

    *** And not everyone would take advantage of the ignorance of others to make them poor and keep them poor.***

    I’m not taking advantage of anybody.

    ***that’s why you have to pay a pittance more now. we don’t like your kind and we’ve had enough.***

    The “rich” already pay plenty of taxes.

    You don’t like “our kind”?? What is that? People that work hard, save money, and invest (creating jobs)?

    Well we are tired of people who don’t pull their own weight and instead steal from us.

    If you stopped me on the street and stole money from my pocket that would be theft. Why, if a millon or ten million of you do it together is it suddenly okay?

    Get off your butt, work, and start saving some money and investing it.

  94. I’m so sick of people thinking that this will charge only Enron-like corporations and wealthy people. I am a secretary at a small business and barely make enough money to get by with my schooling. My friends are all trying to find work, and there are relatively few jobs. Some of the companies we work with are going out of business due to the economy and it’s been gravely affecting my small company. Higher taxes for companies means higher prices, more layoffs, less work and more bankruptcy. We can’t keep doing this, and meanwhile government-paid civil servants who don’t have to worry about looming unemployment, have been haunting my radio, tv, phone, doorstep, and billboards with messages and threats about how we won’t be able to get any federal money or how our schools and libraries will be affected adversely. Now instead we have our very own sales tax, since all businesses will have no choice but to bump up their prices this year.

  95. ***Now instead we have our very own sales tax, since all businesses will have no choice but to bump up their prices this year.***

    It’s so nice to see someone who understands how this works.

    New and/or higher taxes ALWAYS result in either higher prices or lost jobs. Always.

    Personally if I were a business owner, I’d go out in my parking lot and look for bumper stickers supporting liberal politicians or supporting these propositions. Those would be the first people I’d fire.

  96. Pingback: Measure 66 | Blankcrisis

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