Measure 91 Is Measure 91 good for Oregonians? No! While many people agree with the principle of Measure 91, which would stop Oregonians from paying taxes on the money that is paid as federal tax, the financial impact of the measure and the uncertainty of it’s intended effects could make this measure financial devastating to the people it intends to help. In order to be able to make an informed decisions on the measure, it is important that we, first, discover what the measure proposes to do, second, determine who the measure will benefit, and finally, what effect the measure will have on the lives of Oregonians. So what does this measure propose to do? Under the current law, personal income tax payers may deduct up to $3,000 paid in federal income taxes from their state tax liability and corporations paying Oregon income tax get no deduction. However, if this measure were to pass, it would allow for full deduction of all federal income taxes paid by both individuals and corporations towards their Oregon income tax returns. Who benefits from this measure? According to research done by the Oregonian, a family who makes $46,000 would actually end up paying $159 more money in taxes.
However, a family that makes $100,000 would see a savings of $849 and a family making $250,000 would save over $4,700. So in effect, this measure will only help the rich, but also hurt the poor and middle class by actually making them pay more taxes. Now that we know what the measure would do if passed, what affects would it actually have on Oregonians? According to the Oregon Legislative Fiscal Office , Measure 91, if passed would cut nearly $1 billion, or 25 percent, out of Oregon’s 1999-2001 biennium budget and more than $1.66 billion, or 15 percent, from the 2001-2003 general fund. So, where does this money come from? $32.4 million from community colleges and $56.7 million from Oregon’s Universities, which will cause tuition increases of 50-100%, larger classes, and fewer classes being offered. It will also cut $57.8 million from Corrections which would led to 1,987 corrections officers being fired, or 4,900 inmates being released, but this causes a bigger problem, under Measure 11, neither of these two can happen, so that money will have to come from another source. Oregon State Police would see a $12.6 million dollar cut, which would eliminate 350 of the 720 officers on the force.
Services to the elderly, disabled, and those covered by the Oregon Health Plan, would be cut by over $143 million dollars which would eliminate almost of the programs for these people. Finally, the biggest cut, nearly $767.3 million, would be cut from State Employees. This would mean that the state would have to cut 100 percent of all of the state funded positions for nine months to accommodate the reduction before the end of the 1999-2001 biennium budget . Measure 91, in principle, is a great idea. No one should ever be forced to pay taxes twice on the same amount of money. After all, part of the reason that we fought for our independence from England was to stop double taxation.
However, the way in which the measure is written is far too drastic. What is the point of lowering taxes just to have all of the services that we rely on reduced to almost nothing. So who is really going to benefit from this measure? According to the statistics, no one. For those who are poor or middle class, there would be tax increases and reductions in all state services. For the rich, they will see some savings, but will also be hurt by the reduction in state funding. Even big corporation are worried about the big picture if this measure were to pass.
Paul Phillips, a spokesman for Nike said, “If a lose of $1 billion a year in tax revenue forces big reductions in state programs, particularly education, it would seriously hurt the ability of companies to attract and keep high-quality workers.” What can you do? Vote NO in the November 7th election, and then make sure everyone that you know will vote NO on Measure 91. This measure is bad for Oregonians, it’s bad for businesses and worst of all it will be devastating to those it is supposed to help, YOU! Political Issues.