Schools and Senior Care? Or Tax Cuts For the Rich?
Over the next few weeks, Oregon’s legislators will be making their final decisions about funding for vital state programs. Oregon’s $3.5 billion crisis poses a very real threat to basic services that middle-class families depend on, like schools, in-home care for seniors, services for people with developmental disabilities, and our public safety system.
We’ve spent weeks talking to people across the state and documenting what these cuts would mean. Click the photo below to hear how budget cuts would harm seniors in assisted living homes.
But at the same time, some lawmakers and corporate lobbyists want to make this crisis even worse, by pushing for tax breaks for the wealthy that would take even more money away from the services we value.
As the Oregon Center for Public Policy noted earlier this week:
“Worse, some lawmakers — Republicans and Democrats alike — have pushed for repealing Measure 66 for those with income from capital gains. The only real winners would be speculators and the rich if income from capital gains were to receive special treatment. In 2009, over half of Oregon’s net capital gains income (54 percent) went to just 4,300 taxpayers who each made over $500,000 that year, the richest of the rich.”
In other words, many legislators are—at this very moment—proposing big tax breaks to a tiny percentage of the wealthiest Oregonians, while at the same time considering deep cuts that will lead to school closures, larger class sizes, seniors being denied in-home care, and cuts to critical services like air and water monitoring.
Whose values and priorities will legislators stand up for? Will they stand up for middle-class families by limiting cuts to schools, senior care, and public safety? Or will they choose to stand with corporate lobbyists by giving tax breaks away to those who are still prospering even in this economy?
The next few weeks will be the legislature’s moment of truth. The way they—and all of us—respond to this crisis is a test of who we are as a people. Now is the time to speak out. Click here to find your legislators and urge them to stand up for middle-class families, not corporate special interests.
If you weren’t at the amazing rally in Salem last Friday, you really missed out. But luckily for you, we put together a short video to give you some sense of what you missed. Click below to watch it!