There are more than a few statewide and local ballot measures this year. We did not consider them all, but did identify the few that resonated most with our board because of their potentially significant impact on Oregon families:
We recommend that voters vote no on Measure 84 and yes on Measure 85:
- VOTE NO on Measure 84: Maintain the state’s existing capital gains tax and don’t add another tax break for people who don’t need it. Our state hardly needs a new way to lose revenue, especially when most Oregon families would be worse off – and our tippy top earners better off – if this measure passes. This is one of those ballot measures that we’ve seen too many of: they’re pushed by well-funded anti-tax crusaders who know how to market an idea so voters approve it and then the public services we all need in place get cut. It’s another lose-lose tax cut proposal that benefits the wrong people. Why do we care? We believe deeply in public education and our state is experiencing a serious education funding crisis that this measure would only worsen. Learn more about the campaign to defeat this measure here.
- VOTE YES on Measure 85: Redirect the “corporate kicker” refund to the state’s insufficient K-12 public education budget. The “kicker” concept is uniquely and unfortunately part of our state revenue system. In short, when state revenue from corporate taxes exceeds official predictions, the “surplus” “kicks” back to said corporations. Often with devastating consequences to our state budget. Plus, a good portion of the refunds benefit out-of-state corporations who do some business in Oregon, not Oregonians or Oregon-based businesses. We know that this is by no means the final answer to our state’s insufficient and unstable revenue crisis. But we also know that by passing this beginning reform, we voters send a message to Salem that we will support revenue reform at the ballot when they refer it, which they must. This change won’t “kick” regularly or sufficiently to fully fund K-12 education, but it will help and set us on a path to the broader, more structural reform that the state desperately needs. Learn more about Measure 85 and the campaign to pass it here.
City of Portland
We recommend that voters approve these two measures:
- Fund a Portland Public Schools facilities bond (Measure 26-144). The city’s schools are aging and urgently need upgrading to be safe and effective learning places of which Portlanders can be proud. In general, we support public investment in our public schools, and believe that great cities have – and need – great public schools. This specific bond proposal to invest $482 million in PPS K-12 school facilities was created with significant community input to respond to community needs and was honed after the 2011 proposal (which failed by about 600 votes) to respond to community criticism. Learn more about the bond here and the campaign to pass it here.
- Create a Multnomah County Library Tax District (Measure 26-143). If passed, this measure would create a taxing district specifically to fund the very well used Multnomah County library system. Currently the libraries are funded through renewable levies approved periodically by voters. The County Commission voted unanimously to place the taxing district question on the ballot. Learn more about the library’s funding structure and the proposed tax district here.