Tax Fairness

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Some Big Ideas to Fund Oregon's Priorities

On April 26, we filed numerous initiative petitions with the Secretary of State’s office for the 2014 election.

These initiatives would raise hundreds of millions of dollars to more than $1 billion in funding for Oregon’s classrooms and critical services by raising tax rates on large corporations. Most of these corporations are headquartered out of state, but make a lot of money here—and are essentially getting a free ride.

Find out more about these potential initiatives here.

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The Wealth Disparity Crisis Laid Bare

It's impossible to ignore. Our country is facing a crisis of wealth disparity that has only gotten much, much worse since the recession. Put simply, the ultra-rich are getting richer, and everyone else is getting poorer.

And some of the most tragic victims of this crisis are Oregon's children.

Read more at The Sockeye blog.

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Tax Breaks: Out of Control Growth

Here's a startling fact: Since 2009, the amount of money the state gives away in tax breaks -- many of which go to big corporations and the wealthy -- has increased by a whopping 29%. According to this year's projections, the state will give away $36 billion in tax breaks this budget cycle. That's a $3 billion increase from the previous budget cycle.

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Local Measures: Where a 'Yes' Result May Not Result in a Yes

Last Tuesday's election results showed that Americans are excited about keeping the country moving forward, at all levels. While President Obama's re-election was certainly one indicator of the nation's mood, many important local issues were decided with the same enthusiasm and spirit.

Here in Oregon, our local results presented a voice worth hearing: Let’s invest in what matters.

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Measure 84: A bad idea

Measure 84's chief sponsor admits he's not a tax attorney and he's not an estate planner. That's obvious! Because tax attorneys, estate planners, and CPAs agree: Measure 84 is a bad idea!

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Look at all those heads in the sand!

A few weeks ago, we wrote this:

[A] growing body of economic research... suggests that income inequality may be the root of America's economic woes... While the conservative right will almost certainly try to denounce these findings as "bias from the liberal elitite," the truth of the matter is that the reports aren't being crafted by one party or one organization.The reports come from an array of diverse sources, including IMF, internationally renowned economists, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and dozens more.

Here's the thing -- while we predicted that Republicans would dismiss the findings, we never dreamed that they would try to cover them up.

But according to an article in today's New York Times, that  is precisely what happened.

Here's the scoop:

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Worst Tax Proposals in the nation? Guess what made the list!

Think Progress took a look at ballot measures across the nation to see what sort of tax policies Americans are voting on this November.

As it turns out, almost all of them are bad ideas, designed to make taxes less equitable. And of all the bad ideas out there, Oregon has hit the top of the list.

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The real impact of Measure 5

There's been a resurgence of interest in the effects of Measure 5, the property tax cap measure that is widely credited with defunding Oregon's schools.

Measure 5 was passed in 1990, and was proposed as a property tax cap and limit. Proponents of this measure failed to mention that the policy would also severely cut public school funding while shifting decisions from local officials to state lawmakers. With limited funds and far-removed politicians making decisions how to use them, school funding has faced troubling trends in the ensuing decades.

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Nonpartisan LRO Report: Measure 84 will be Costly

The nonpartisan Legislative Revenue Office (LRO) has released their report on the revenue implications of Measure 84, Kevin Mannix's Estate Tax Break for Millionaires.

Their findings? It's gonna cost us.

In short, if the measure passes, it will cost the state between $256 million and $600 million (or more) per biennium, once fully implemented. 

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Consequence of overcrowded and underfunded schools: Another side to the story

We talk a lot about the impacts of overcrowded classrooms on students, who are getting less and less of their teachers’ attention and who, at times, feel hopeless.

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