RECENTLY ON TOL:
- A tumblr site dedicated to the people and places that make up Oregon and Southwest Washington.
on Tax Measures
I was initially a bit torn on Measure 67, being both a voter with kids and a part-owner in a successful, high-tech small business (an S corporation). However, I voted YES last week. And after hearing an interview on January 20th on KEX radio with GOP Chairman Bob Tiernan, I am now more convinced than ever that this was the right vote. Speaking for the NO campaign, Mr. Tiernan said the following during the interview: “You know, the private sector is the only area where you can increase a job that is going to create wealth. A public sector job is only going to create more debt and more taxes.”
I’m sorry, but he’s dreadfully wrong. Tax dollars go back into public services, including K-12 and higher education, and other services that affect the well-being of our local communities. Apparently Mr. Tiernan does not understand (or won’t acknowledge) that the taxes which go to public services are an investment in our community. I would like to say this to him: “Mr. Tiernan, step out of your house for a walk. Look at your house, then walk to your local school. Do you like where you live? Does the school define the character and quality of the community you live in? Should we be investing in that school, or not?”
I suspect Mr. Tiernan knows that the responsibility of individuals and businesses to pay taxes is a civic duty that is for the well-being of our communities. But I gather he won’t say this because he is influenced by corporate money coming from outside our community and outside our state. In contrast, I have a responsibility to my local community, including those individuals – kids – who can’t vote, but whose educational environment will likely suffer from the outcome of a NO vote. It is clear that the political will does not exist in the legislature, nor with the voters, to reform Oregon’s tax system anytime soon. But the simple fact is that without reform and without these ballot measures, education services will be reduced at a time when many people more than ever need quality education at all levels (particularly in high school, community colleges, and universities) to help them not only get through this recession, but also to be prepared with the skills they need to be employable in the future. I suggest that voters first walk through their neighborhoods for some fresh air before casting their ballot.
posted 3 years, 4 months ago
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