Vote NO on Oregon Measures 66 and 67
• Don’t believe the lies … 66 & 67 tax EVERYONE!
• Many at-home corporate business owners will be taxed.
• Any tax on business is always passed-down to the customer – that means YOU!
By Sharon Livingston
It must be some kind of joke. That was my first thought after reading the ballot titles for the two tax measures on the January ballot. As chief petitioner in the effort to refer the Legislature’s personal income tax increase, I expected some shenanigans from Democratic legislators on the special committee writing the ballot title. Why else set up a special committee to circumvent the normal drafting process? But the ballot titles for Measures 66 and 67 read like voters’ pamphlet statements from tax increase proponents. The authors had to be kidding.
They weren’t. The joke is on those of us Oregonians who expect ballot titles to be even-handed, objective descriptions of the critical issues before voters.
I’m an eastern Oregon rancher. This is not how we operate where I live and do business. I don’t think it’s how most Oregonians believe they should be treated by their Legislature. In fact, Oregon law requires ballot titles to be impartial. These legislatively engineered ballot titles are flat prejudicial.
The obvious slant can be seen in the fact that the “Result of a ‘Yes’ Vote” statements for both measures are nearly twice as long as the “Result of a ‘No’ Vote” statements.
Oregonians have the right to know key facts about the tax increases they’ll vote on in January. They have a right to know the Legislature’s tax increases are permanent. Neither ballot title says so. Voters are given no clue that legislators exploited a short-term economic crisis to pass permanent tax increases.
Oregonians also have a right to know that the tax increases are retroactive. Neither ballot title clearly explains that the tax increases reach back to Jan. 1, 2009, and that no money has been withheld from Oregon taxpayers to cover these retroactive tax increases.
Oregonians have a right to know that the tax package includes a new tax of up to $100,000 on businesses that do not make a profit. There’s no
mention of that.
Oregonians have a right to know that defeat of these measures will not mean automatic cuts to current budgets. The two ballot titles engage in
pure speculation to suggest this will be the case.
It’s sad to say, but ramming through ballot titles that are long on electioneering and short on even-handedness is part of the legislative leadership’s pattern of delay, denial and deceit on these tax increases.
First, the leaders denied requests to send the measures out for a vote. Then they tried to change the law so a “yes” vote would mean no and a “no” vote would mean yes if the taxes made it to the ballot. Then they said nothing as Gov. Ted Kulongoski delayed signing the measures so citizens would have less time to gather signatures to put them on the ballot. They even spent taxpayer dollars to hire private investigators to spy on signature gatherers.
Now they have conspired to turn our ballot into campaign propaganda.
No, not funny. Shameful.