October 12th, 2012 12:31 pm | by NIGEL JAQUISS News | Posted In: Activism, Business, Politics

Anti-Tax Activist Don McIntire Dies

mcintireDon McIntire - Oregon Catalyst

Anti-tax activist Don McIntire, who fundamentally changed Oregon's system of property taxation, has died.

Details of McIntire's death are still unclear, says his longtime colleague, Jason Williams, with whom McIntire founded the Taxpayer Association of Oregon in 2000.

"The only thing I know is that he passed away from a heart attack in his home," Williams told WW.

McIntire, 74, a former health club owner, wrote Measure 5, the 1990 constitutional amendment that cut and limited property taxes. Here's a brief description from the Oregon Department of Revenue:

Measure 5, which introduced tax rate limits, was passed in 1990 and became effective in the 1991-92 tax year. When fully implemented in 1995-96, Measure 5 cut tax rates an average of 51 percent from their 1990-91 levels.

Coupled with subsequent tax measures, one of the long-term impacts has been to shift Oregon's K-12 system from being funded by local property taxes to being funded at the state level by income taxes.

McIntire remained an determined opponent of taxes until the end of his life. In a Sept. 27 endorsement interview with WW, he railed against Portland Public Schools' proposed $482 million capital bond measure, which is on the November ballot.

"The question is whether we should be raising taxes on a beleaguered economy to fund an unproductive and inefficient school district," McIntire said, adding with characteristic bluntness that a proposed oversight committee was "worthless."

McIntire is survived by his wife, Romaine. Friends and admirers are posting their memories on the Oregon Catalyst blog.
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