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Giant Property Tax Increase (SJR 3) Advancing

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

By Taxpayer Association of Oregon, reprinted in Oregon Catalyst

Senate Joint Resolution 3 would dismantle the protections homeowners have on the rate of increase of their property taxes on their home. Currently those taxes based on the assessed value of your home are capped at 3%. This 3% limit was enacted by voters in 1997 (Measure 50) and placed into the Oregon Constitution. SJR 3 aims to remove it — which could hit homeowners with thousands in higher property tax bills…

The bill tries to win public support by extending some sort of exemption for owner occupied properties, but leaves it to other factors to determine what that exemption will be…expect big property tax increases on your home regardless. As for rental property and business property owners — expect a property tax increase that will be crippling. Every single business in Oregon will be impacted.

We Respond & Your Comments

Oregon legislators face a $1.8 billion budget gap over the next biennium. Think they’ll close it by cutting spending? No – spending is what got them elected and reelected. Spending is the drug they offer voters to keep their own jobs.

They’re going to tax anything and everything to plug the gap they created: coffee, old cars, the air we breathe. But this –Senate Joint Resolution 3, is the big one. If they can turn your property into a free fire zone for taxation they can keep on spending and stuff the budget hole with dollars you earned.

Keep a close watch on this one. It’s big – real big.


Oregon Gov. Kate Brown And AG Ellen Rosenblum Blaze The Oregon Trail Of Political Patronage

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

By Adam Andrezejewski, Contributor,

Opinions expressed by Forbes contributors are their own

As the state contemplates an income tax hike, Oregon’s elites line their pockets with taxpayer money.

In 2016, as politicians across America were fleeing voter wrath, Oregon’s governor and attorney general were blazing an unlikely trail – accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from businesses with state contracts…

Our analysis at American Transparency ( found 207 state contractors gave $805,876 in campaign cash to Governor Kate Brown ($518,203) and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum ($287,673) since 2012. These businesses hold lifetime state contracts worth at least $2.6 billion. State contractor donations to the governor and attorney general represent 57 percent of current cash on hand in their campaign committees…

We Respond & Your Comments

So Guv Kate’s “committed to getting the big money out of politics.” Right. Reminds us of the would-be priest who prayed “Lord, bless me with poverty, chastity and obedience – but not just yet.”

Guv Kate & AG Ellen have done quite well with lots of the big corporations that Progressives are supposed to hate. Portland General Electric, for instance, graced Kate with $31,000 and has over $250,000 in Beaver State contracts.

We could go on. And we will. In coming issues of Lane Solutions we’ll launch a new feature titled “Kate & Ellen’s Buds,” where we’ll reveal contributions from and deals with these gals’ best buds. We think it’ll be fun. Stay tuned in.


Lawmakers, lobbyists call for changes to Measure 98

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

By Anna Marum | The Oregonian/OregonLive 

Last November…Oregon voters overwhelmingly approved Ballot Measure 98.

The measure promised to get many more students to earn diplomas by allocating $800 per student for career-technical courses, college-credit classes and dropout intervention programs in high schools.

But with the Legislature facing a $1.8 billion budget gap and as some critics point out weak points in the measure, what is delivered could differ…

In her December budget proposal, Gov. Kate Brown recommended allocating just $139 million to the programs in the measure…

We Respond & Your Comments

It passed – 65% – 34%. Who could be against Measure 98? After all, it was “for the children.”

Guv Kate endorsed it. But she and her government buds never thought out:

  • It’s going to cost close to $300 million over 2 years. Where’s that coming from?
  • Small, rural school districts won’t get enough to accomplish any of 98’s goals;
  • It’s going to cannibalize other, established education programs.

Or maybe they did think it out and ignored these and other flaws in 98. Why? For the same reason Oregon AFL-CIO and the Oregon Democratic Party endorsed 98. Any money, no matter how little, that creates education programs creates union jobs.

And union jobs create union dues. And union dues morph into campaign contributions for Democrats.

So it really doesn’t make any difference if these programs are good, bad, or just plain ugly, does it?


Tax based on exorbitant CEO pay makes sense

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

By Steve Novick

For The Register-Guard

Over the past 40 years, economic inequality in the United States has skyrocketed. The richest 1 percent now receives about 20 percent of total national income, up from 10 percent in the 1970s. Most of the increase has actually gone to the super-rich, the top one-tenth of 1 percent…

One of the most dramatic examples of galloping inequality is exploding CEO pay. In the 1960s, the typical CEO of a large corporation made about 20 times what the median worker at that company made. Now, CEOs routinely make hundreds of times what the median worker makes…

In 2014, two members of the California Senate came up with an innovative idea: Apply a higher corporate tax rate to corporations with extreme ratios of CEO pay to typical worker pay…

As a member of the Portland City Council, I read about that idea and thought it was brilliant…

We Respond & Your Comments

Steve – We truly feel you feeling “The Little Guy’s” pain. And we’ll take you seriously when you start whining about:

  • George Clooney and other liberal actors making gazillions more than “The Little Guy” schlepping cables on their movie sets;
  • Barbra Streisand and other ageing pop stars earning tons more than “The Little Guys” adjusting their microphones;
  • Whoopi Goldberg and other liberal TV celebs taking home buckets more than the “The Little Guy” mopping the floor of her set.

Just one more thing, Steve – What is it that you so dislike about CEOs? Is it that they actually produce something? That they create jobs for “The Little Guy”? Think about it.


House Democrats need Republicans for solutions to Oregon’s problems: Editorial

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

By The Oregonian Editorial Board 

Democratic legislators in the lopsided House of Representatives don’t need Republican votes to get what they want this session. Aside from bills to raise revenue, the Democrats can accomplish much on their agenda with a simple majority, something they handily own with the party’s 35-25 dominance in the House…

… good legislation is not created in echo chambers. The strongest policies emerge only after a process of challenging assumptions, debating impacts and negotiating compromises that address the problems while limiting unintended consequences…

One-party rule doesn’t serve Oregonians well no matter which party is in charge. It doesn’t promote rigorous debate that considers the fiscal impacts as well as the social benefits of public spending…

We Respond & Your Comments

Our point here isn’t that Democrats need Republicans or vice versa.

It’s that our Founding Fathers built a system based on slowing down change (including legislation) and doing the hard work of governing.

Governing means engaging in negotiation that leads to a compromise leaving both sides with equity in legislation. Leave one side closed out and you’ve created a group that wants nothing more than to undo what the other side crammed down their throats.

Each side needs to remember that it won’t be in power forever. And when the outs become the ins they’re salivating to a) dismantle the other side’s agenda and b) do a little cramming of their own.

Our Founders’ system works when it’s used. Let this be a warning to any party in power. Because power is always temporary.


Editorial: A new front opens in the attack on landlords

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

This may be obvious, but it needs to be said: Landlords are not necessarily evil.

If you keep an eye on the Oregon Legislature — or… on the Bend City Council — it would be easy to get a very different idea.

Just a few weeks ago, the Bend City Council made it harder for landlords to get rid of bad tenants…

… Some [Oregon] lawmakers have been salivating over the prospect of limiting how much landlords can raise the rent…

And now, fresh from his demonization of “huge, out-of-state corporations” and their “rich stockholders,” State Rep. Phil Barnhart, D-Eugene, has bestowed a haymaker on the increasingly contested notion that landlords should be free to control the use of their own property…

The [Barnhart] bills allow residential and commercial tenants to install electrical vehicle charging stations, even if their landlords do not want their property to be altered in that way…

Given the low regard in which so many lawmakers seem to hold landlords… no one should be surprised to see people look for other things to do with land. Housing affordability will change accordingly.

We Respond & Your Comments

Click here  – you’ll see that Eugene has the 2nd tightest housing market in the U.S.

As we’ve explained, “Progressives’” refusal to adjust urban growth boundaries limits construction and affordability of houses, thereby increasing demand for and prices of apartments.

So what’s Phil “Einstein” Barnhart’s answer? It’s brilliant. Phil says, “Let’s reduce incentives for building apartments. That’ll limit the supply and drive up prices even more.” Yeah, that’ll really help “The Little Guy” you Progressives love so much.

Phil – Your brilliance is absolutely unbounded. You da man!


Merkley grills secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson on climate change…

Thursday, January 26, 2017

By Gordon R. Friedman | The Oregonian/OregonLive 

Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley on Wednesday questioned U.S. secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson, a former chief executive at Exxon Mobil, about his views on climate change…

Merkley asked Tillerson… if he believes the United States should mitigate the effects of climate change…

“Every one of us in our states are seeing effects on the ground. And as we see that, we know we’re just at the beginning,” Merkley said. “Do you see it as a national security issue?”

Tillerson: “I don’t see it as the imminent national security threat that others do.”…

Merkley turned to the Paris Agreement on climate change and limiting greenhouse gas emissions signed last spring…

We Respond & Your Comments

Get it? Russia’s occupying Eastern Ukraine; China’s building airbases on artificial islands in the South China Sea; Philippine president Duterte screams “Bye bye America.” Israel sees us as an unreliable ally; the Middle East is on fire…

And Sen. Merkley’s asking the next secy. of state about climate change? But wait, there’s more…

According to The Wall Street Journal, Merkley “wanted to know about the mountain pine beetle, an invasive forest species he claimed was expanding as a result of warming.”

Tillerson must have been thinking “The world’s going to hell and this guy’s quizzing me on some damn beetle? How in hell did he get elected?” We confess to wondering the same thing.


2016 was ‘one of the best years’ for Lane County, chairman says

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

By Lillian Schrock

The Register-Guard

Lane County officials enhanced critical public safety and health services in 2016, Board of Commissioners Chairman Faye Stewart said Monday in his State of the County speech…

Stewart noted Lane County last year approved a reduction in the county’s five-year jail property tax levy…

In a bid to curb costs, the county also eliminated vacant jobs, shifted to a self-funded health insurance system for employees and started using existing legal staff for litigation rather than paying legal fees…

The jail expanded its number of local beds to 317, which reduced the number of early releases…

In addition, the sheriff’s office in March returned to 24-hour deputy patrol coverage in rural areas…

Last year, county officials worked with the city of Eugene to shelter more than 400 homeless veterans, he said…

We Respond & Your Comments

Today we’re very pleased to present you with an example of good government

This year Lane County citizens are safer thanks to our Commissioners. And isn’t that the primary purpose of government? We think so.

Then the Commissioners did the unheard of – they cut a tax. How rare is that?

And they did this while addressing the needs of homeless veterans and other vulnerable citizens.

Join us in thanking our County Commission for truly representing us. And remember them the next time you mark your ballot.


Oregon Landlords Propose a $25 Million Annual Program to Assist Renters…

Thursday, January 12, 2017

By Rachel Monahan,

Under pressure to respond to the rising cost of housing, the state’s landlord lobby is circulating a proposal to create a $25 million annual Oregon renter assistance program.

…the program would pay a portion of the rent for low-income tenants…

The proposal comes after Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek announced her support for overturning the state’s ban on rent control and ending “no-cause” evictions…

Economist Joe Cortright gave the landlords’ proposal mixed reviews, calling it a “broader-based way of addressing the affordability issue” than inclusionary zoning, the city’s housing bond or rent control, but one that would, nonetheless, result in higher rents across the market…

We Respond & Your Comments

It’s an ironclad law of economics: If you want more of something, subsidize it. Here it’s rent, which we’ll soon have more of if this program becomes law.

Look at it this way: Iggy’s diner charges $2 for a cheeseburger. For whatever reason, Max stands outside the door and hands a dollar to everyone going in to order a cheeseburger. Iggy, not being a dummy, raises the price to $2.50. Customers still get a burger for $.50 less than before and Iggy gets an extra $.50. What’s not to like?

It’s the same for anything. Subsidize tuition with grants and loans and you get more tuition. Subsidize rent and landlords raise rents to capture some of the extra dough.

As with so many things, Progressives achieve precisely the opposite of their intended result. In this case it’s higher rent.


The Effect of Mandatory Sick Leave Policies…

Thursday, January 12, 2017
  • Maxford Nelson, Labor Policy Analyst, The Freedom Foundation

Mandatory paid sick leave laws are employment benefit regulations that require employers to provide certain amounts of paid sick leave to employees…

Since San Francisco’s implementation of a citywide paid sick leave law.., at least seven cities and the state of Connecticut have adopted similar laws… Proponents of mandatory paid sick leave laws argue that…employees will no longer have to choose between going to work sick and foregoing pay, public health will improve by keeping sick workers from spreading illness at work, and businesses will profit from healthier employees and lower turnover…

This paper is the first to undertake a comprehensive review…of the most significant… studies of mandatory paid sick leave policies. Several important conclusions…emerge from this analysis:

  • Workplace illness does not appear to be a widespread problem…
  • Most firms voluntarily offer paid sick leave benefits without being required to do so by law…
  • Studies tend to exaggerate employer support for mandatory paid sick leave laws…
  • Consumers, workers and employers are all negatively affected by mandatory paid sick leave policies…
  • Mandatory paid sick leave laws do nothing to reduce turnover…

We Respond & Your Comments

Surprise! Paid sick leave laws, ginned up by “compassionate” politicians to dredge up votes, are like most “Progressive” policies (e.g. minimum wage increases). They:

  • Sound good
  • Don’t work
  • Are expensive
  • Hurt the people they were supposed to help.

We encourage you to click on the link here and read the short “Executive Summary,” where you’ll see even more reasons why mandatory paid sick leave laws accomplish nothing but scoring votes for Progressives.