“If approved, the measure would end the game-playing that we’ve seen the last few years by which lawmakers have managed to avoid the existing constitutional requirement for a supermajority when raising revenue. The measure makes sense, and approving it would serve to tell some lawmakers Oregonians are not as dumb as they seem to think we are.

The Bend Bulletin newspaper

July 2, 2018

 

WHY TO VOTE YES ON 104

Politicians have created loopholes to get around the state’s constitutional requirement for a three-fifths supermajority to raise taxes on Oregon families and small businesses. Measure 104 will close the loopholes and make sure politicians follow the state Constitution.

Over 20 years ago Oregon voters passed a constitutional amendment requiring a supermajority vote on all revenue raising legislation.  In recent years, legislators and their lawyers have found creative loopholes and made several attempts at raising taxes and eliminating exemptions, deductions and credits without a supermajority vote.

Dozens of bills were introduced in the past two legislative sessions that circumvented the three-fifths requirement. Many of these proposals would have impacted middle-class families and small businesses.

Ballot Measure 104 ensures that any legislation that raises revenue requires a three-fifths majority vote. This includes fees or the elimination of tax exemptions, deductions or credits – making it clear that Oregonians are fed up with politicians working behind closed doors to increase taxes.

Thanks to the help of over 15 statewide business organizations and grassroots groups – and over 174,000 Oregonians who signed the petition – Oregon voters can affirm their decision in November.  It is urgent that we pass Ballot Measure 104 and put an end to these easy tax hikes.

 

HOW YOU COULD BE IMPACTED

The legislature has made a variety of attempts to raise taxes on a simple majority vote.  Below are just a few examples of ways Oregon families and small businesses could be impacted:

  • The Oregon legislature attempted to eliminate the home mortgage interest tax deduction for many taxpayers – a toll that provides over a half-million Oregon households a deduction on their state income taxes. They also considered a proposal to eliminate property tax deductions and other legislation damaging to homeowners. (HB 2006–2017)
  • Oregon politicians have long been in pursuit of a carbon tax, known as cap and trade. The legislation would require Oregon companies to pay a tax on carbon emissions which would hurt consumers by substantially increasing the costs of transportation, food and utilities, while also resulting in job losses. Politicians attempted this without a supermajority vote and without providing Oregonians evidence that it would result in reduced carbon emissions. (SB 965- 2015; SB 1070- 2017; HB 4001- 2018)
  • Most concerning, the legislature robbed thousands of Oregon small businesses of recent federal tax cuts by disconnecting from the federal tax code – raising $244 million in new revenue from Oregon small businesses on a simple majority vote. (SB 1528– 2018)