Tax breaks support family farms

Did anyone ask the Friends of Family Farmers about HB 3626 and why Representative Peter Buckley supports family farmers and ranchers in Oregon by providing new and young farmers the opportunity to benefit earlier from an already-in-place tax break [Rogue of the Week, May 11, 2011]? Do you have any idea about the average age (over 57) of farmers in Oregon?

Representative Buckley sees very clearly that we need young farmers if we wish to continue to supply Oregonians with food. Do you care if we have younger, local farmers replacing the retiring ones, or would you rather see even more conglomerates taking over our agriculture? There are young people passionate about growing food organically and with sustainability in mind who are not able to start farming because of the high cost of land and property taxes.

I choose to buy locally grown food and meat, not only for health reasons, but also for economic, environmental and "better taste" reasons. It is important that we help young farmers so that more of us can buy locally. Young farmers who do not inherit their land cannot get loans for farmland and are having to stop their farming business before it hardly gets started.

If Willamette Week is so concerned about taxes being taken from our children, why not look to the corporations paying only $150 per year? Family farmers and small ranchers are NOT part of our tax problem; the wealthy and the corporations who are permitted to use loopholes in the tax code are where our problem is.

Janice Rose

Colton readers comment on "Dirt roads, dead ends," May 11, 2011

"While I can't speak for everyone in Lents, I see the major concern here is traffic safety over street improvements.…

Our transportation priorities concern…street safety, lack of sidewalks on busy thoroughfares and the rising cost of construction.

An example: SE Ellis street from SE 84th/Foster to SE 92nd. This is a key thoroughfare in the neighborhood; it's even designated a pedestrian corridor in Portland's Pedestrian Master Plan. Yet, it has only a few feet of sidewalk. Fixing SE Ellis is a priority, but it still seems to be many years away from getting improvements that would put it at parity with other transportation infrastructure. What many neighbors want out here is transportation infrastructure that at least is at parity with the rest of the city. Given the relative costs of building that now, as opposed to when the rest of the city was being built, it will be much more difficult to bring these streets up to at least parity. To top it off, there is much consternation about the requirements to become green with proper stormwater treatments, bioswales, etc... That easily puts the costs into the millions for a mile of city street." —Lents_Resident

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