The Campaign to Protect Oregon's Priorities

In these ongoing economic hard times, we need to do everything we can to protect Oregon's priorities.

That means protecting the schools, jobs, and basic services that our struggling communities depend on, and making sure that large corporations and the wealthy are paying their fair share.

But even while budgets for schools and critical services have been cut or remain flat, Oregon is expected to give away more than $36 billion in tax breaks over the next two years. That’s an increase of $8 billion in tax giveaways just since 2009, even while K-12 students are being crammed into larger and larger classes.

By reforming or eliminating tax breaks that are unnecessary, ineffective, or only benefit large corporations and the rich, and using tax dollars efficiently, we could save hundreds of millions of dollars that could instead be spent protecting our priorities.

In particular, House Bill 2456 would raise $275 million by closing tax loopholes for big corporations and wealthy households. See the chart below for more details.

Below is a list of ways to find more than $700 million to fund our schools, senior care, and critical services for families who need them. 

Activist Toolkit

Here, you'll find everything you need to join the fight for Oregon's priorities:

1. Find out what's at stake with the "Protecting What Matters Most" one-pager
2. What's the path forward? Get the list of proposals to raise money for priority services.
3. Statement of Principles to help your organization join the campaign.
4. Speak Out! Contact your legislators and tell them to protect Oregon's priorities! (We've made it easy for you with a handy form.)

 

The Path Forward

Step 1. Cut Out of Control Tax Breaks

Passing House Bill 2456 is the first step in closing big loopholes for large corporations and the wealthy. It will raise $275 million to fund schools and critical services.

While budgets for schools and critical services have been cut, the amount of money the state gives away through big tax breaks has continued to grow unchecked. Over the next two years, Oregon is expected to give away more than $36 billion in tax breaks. That's an increase of $8 billion in tax giveaways just since 2009, even while K-12 students are being crammed into larger and larger classes.

By limiting the overall deductions that wealthy households can take and capping the Home Mortgage Interest Deduction for mortgages above $400,000, we can cut the number of tax breaks we give away to the wealthy—and use those funds to protect the services that families need.
 

Step 2. Make Every Dollar Count

A broad coalition of 10 organizations—ranging from the Oregon Student Association to AARP Oregon—has released a report identifying $278 million in savings at state agencies by:

1. Reducing middle management so that funds can be preserved for the direct services that families need
2. Enacting tougher standards for government contractors
3. Doing a better job of cracking down on tax cheats

Read the full report here: http://ouroregon.org/page/making-every-dollar-count
 

Step 3. It’s Raining Now

By using just half of the money available in reserve accounts, we can put $217 million directly into our classrooms, senior care, and public safety now, when they’re needed most.

Activist Toolkit

Here, you'll find everything you need to join the fight for Oregon's priorities:

1. Find out what's at stake with the "Protecting What Matters Most" one-pager

2. What's the path forward? Get the list of proposals to raise money for priority services

3. Statement of Principles to help your organization join the campaign

4. Speak Out! Contact your legislators and tell them to protect Oregon's priorities.