The annual richie rich referendum is in! Every election cycle, Oregon expends a lot of energy fighting whacko ballot measures and referendums and this year is no exception.
The "Stop Job Killing Taxes Campaign" turned in 129,500 signatures to the Secretary of State's Elections Office today, likely qualifying their referendums to repeal recent new taxes to a state-wide vote. That comes as no big surprise—the group has more than $1 million in its war chest, after all.
"What I think is of note is the disparity between the number of signatures they got and the number of people who will actually be affected by the measure," says Defend Oregon's Scott Moore, who's spearheading the campaign against the anti-tax referendums. Moore's group calculates that only 28,000 taxpayers will be affected by the law the legislature passed last spring raising taxes on the wealthiest 1.7 percent of Oregonians. The second tax measure up for referendum raises the minimum annual tax corporations pay from $10 (an amount set in in 1931) to $150—
would apply to only 12 percent of businesses would pay more than the minimum. "It's an important increase but it's a modest one," says Moore, who points out that Washington's corporate minimum tax is five times higher than Oregon's.
Unless the majority of Oregonians vote to repeal the new taxes (voting "no" this January), the new taxes will raise $733 million (plus earn federal matching dollars of about $200 million) for the strapped Oregon budget, taking some strain off the budgets for things like education and human services.
A poll over the summer backs up Moore's belief that the referendums will fail. An Oregon Center for Public Policy poll showed that Oregonians favor the new taxes by a two to one margin.