California has income tax and sales tax and property tax, and it is worse off than most states ["A Sales Tax, Anybody?" WW, Dec. 5, 2012]. Giving the government more money means they will just give it right to their payroll. You won't see better schools, better services, better roads, you will just see a higher tax bill.
And, yes, sales tax hurts the poor the most, effectively robbing them of 5 to 10 percent of their income, because every nickel is spent by the poor whereas the wealthiest...are able to invest. This is a very poor plan. Sales tax is fine to implement, but only if property and/or income tax is reduced or eliminated equivalently.
Why not just call this plan what it is: an attempt to shift the tax burden from the wealthiest Oregonians to those who make the least. They admit the schools need more funding; it seems removing the cap on property taxes should also be on the table.
I'll vote for a sales tax after they get serious about PERS reform.
Oh, Beaverton is short on money for schools? Maybe they should have passed the local option levy last year...instead of trying to impose a sales tax on all Oregonians. Even exempting groceries and utilities, a sales tax is unnecessarily regressive. Oregon is better than that.
KEEPING COOL IN THE 'COUVE
I've nothing against Portland—why, some of my best friends are Portlanders! But I'm glad I live [in Vancouver]. ["Paradise City," WW, Dec. 5, 2012.] For one thing, my husband and I are able to own a house; in Portland, all we'd be able to afford would be a rental the size of a shoebox.
For another, I like being able to write and make music without obsessing over whether I'm being cool and hip enough in the process. I save a fortune because I don't need to spend a lot on costuming and props. Also, I get more actual writing done.
I grew up in Seattle. We've lived in Washington, D.C., Dallas, Austin, Tokyo, San Francisco and Amsterdam. I appreciated the cultural amenities and diversity in those cities, but I don't miss the big-city problems. It's a mixed bag wherever you choose to live, and life in a smaller city is largely what you make of it.
Vancouver bands not listed that should have been: Outer Space Heaters, Headshapes, Lincoln's Beard, In Public View.... Please listen.
Our story "Bridge Builder" (Nov. 28) incorrectly stated when Rep. Tina Kotek (D-North Portland) served as Democratic caucus leader. She was appointed after the 2011 legislative session. WW regrets the error.
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