This Summer we tuck a successful Oregon legislative session to bed. We have much to celebrate (fusion, tax progress etc see https://rop.org/2009-legislative-wrap-up-highlights-and-challenges-ahead). Any caretaker knows, though, that tucking a child in bed is not really successful until silence reigns for a bit. What are we hearing in Oregon…..
No need for despair! Summer is for social change through fun conversations – county fairs, barbecues, outside concerts. Plenty of festive occasions to talk with (vs. at) our neighbors/families/co-workers about banking in pro-community institutions, projects to feed the hungry though food banks and community gardens, and questions that get people talking about how they see:
The community functioning right now – how is that safety net, the schools etc – is the funding enough?
What isn’t working in the community? what is?
What should the public (eg taxes) be paying for? Who are the most logical sources to pay those taxes? why?
These are genuine questions to pose as we think through a People’s Economy (something that requires a lot of real thinking). These questions are also more than idle chit chat – they build relationships while they make us smarter (Do we really know how to fix the world?) and they might just expand the thinking of others.
On Monday, Governor Kulongoski signed two bills, HB 2649 and HB 3405. (Links to full text of bills below.) They include three basic tax increases: corporate minimum tax and income tax for businesses (3405) and income tax on highest earning individuals (2649). These would raise an estimated $733 million/year.
The 2009 legislative tax victories are being challenged by the same ‘pals of Mannix et al’ that challenge so much for so long. (Never forget that one of Mannix’s first policy proposals was to outlaw turkey basters to insure that women couldn’t self-inseminate – a proposal from someone with not enough to worry about, eh?) The opposition is "Oregonians Against Job-Killing Taxes" – includes the usual suspects (FreedomWorks, Americans for Prosperity). They’ve raised about $200K and have hired Kevin Mannix to gather signatures.
If they gather signatures and qualify by mid-September, the election would be January 26th. They are moving fast and so ‘Decline to Sign’ should be a phrase we are singing at al moments! Our Oregon is using "greed vs. need" as a current soundbite.
If these veto referendums pass, it could fuel Mannix’s second run for governor.
Let’s keep celebrating a strong legislative session by anticipating the challenges and starting conversations now – and yes, it can be at a fun barbeque conversation.
And for all who are wondering – two great updates!!!!
1. Amy Dudley delivered a 7 lb, 11 oz Cora Lou on 7-11 – and they are all marvelously happy!
2. Our recent ROPnet encouraging everyone to ask the Governor not to veto a bill allowing Fusion (a product from the 2009 legislative session) worked. Fusion is now law in Oregon – stay tuned.
Here are some links for more information on progressive tax victories an their challenges: