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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 22, 2010 9:55 AM. The previous post in this blog was You got to mix it, child, you got to fix it. The next post in this blog is Is the City of Portland wimping out on open reservoirs?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Hot from Teacher

We've filled out our ballots in the Oregon tax increase election currently under way -- yes on 66, no on 67 -- but we haven't turned them in yet. And so the election junk mail keeps coming. We got two of copies of this one the other day:

I'm glad to see that the Oregon PTA has enough money to send us such high-priced, glossy advice. Its members must be doing pretty well in such hard times.

So is that the end of this cycle's election porn? I doubt it. There are still four mail deliveries until the balloting closes.

Comments (45)

I still cannot understand voting to give Oregon the highest income tax rate in the country. There's no way that can help attract high income people or businesses to this state. It can only do the opposite. Friends from Atlanta want to move to the pacific northwest and preferred Portland to Seattle. But when they heard about the new income tax rates, they started leaning towards Seattle. Who can blame them? 0% v. 10.8% (or 9.9% in 3 years). At their income levels, a high sales tax is a lot better than a high income tax. They weren't happy about the current 9% rate, but were still willing to move here. But there's something psychological about having the highest tax rate. It's going to put off people and businesses that this state sorely needs.

It might feel good to stick it to the well off, but you're just cutting off your nose to spite your face.

"It might feel good to stick it to the well off, but you're just cutting off your nose to spite your face."

And it might feel good to stick it to the public schools and social services and the many people who depend on them by always saying "no more taxes" for even those who can afford to pay them, but you might want to stop and think about what kind of community you're building--or dismantling.

Times are tough. People who can afford to help out more should help out more.

Richard,

You ignored the point I was making that this vote is going to set Oregon back economically, not forward.

And, btw, I don't always say "no more taxes." (that's a ridiculous thing to say since you don't know me). I have voted repeatedly to increase my already high property taxes in Portland (my property is punished by our system - my assessed value is very near my RMV). And I am totally in favor of a sales tax, how about you??

So I guess I'm not understanding why you don't just turn it in and stop the "porn."

Times are tough. People who can afford to help out more should help out more.

Then why not ask all those who can afford it to help get us through this crisis. Since a business with no taxable income can so easily pay $150, why not ask individuals making $25000-150000 to each pay an additional $150. I mean, that is only $0.41 per day. I mean, give up one latte every 2 weeks and they could have added $140M to the tax rolls.

Wonder how much in art supplies or musical instruments for kids the money spent on that mailer would buy . . . glad to know the state's PTAs have their priorities straight.

Oregon taxation is higher than 1st or 2nd in the nation, it is the 2nd highest in the world. This is according to the Wall Street Journal which I read because it is usually more reliable and better researched than the Oregonian.

I have to ask when is enough, enough? Why is the present biennium tax dollars more than 100% higher than the inflation rate from the last biennium, especially in this Great Recession? Does it really mean services have to be cut, or is the government using the Recession as a means to extrapolate more tax dollars than needed?

I question the use of Disasters, Fear, Hyperbole being used to hijack citizens. About every state administration have used this ploy.

Stuart:

I don't believe the tax increase, which is actually pretty modest, will set the state back economically.

Overall tax burden for high-earning individuals is about average in Oregon compared to other states. So I doubt that many people, even allowing for those who are extraordinarily concerned with personal tax burden, will be discouraged from moving here by the increase.

And many people look at things besides personal tax burden when deciding on a place to live. Many people, especially those with the means to live anywhere, look at quality-of-life issues: like decent public schools, adequate police protection, treatment for the mentally ill, parks, decent roads and transit, and so on.

And what do you think it will do to the local economy if the state budget is cut back because 66 and/or 67 fails? Obviously, unemployment will be increased among the middle-class, because most of the state budget goes to employing people at middle-class wages. I just don't think that the detrimental effect you're speculating about--wealthy people won't move here if the top-end tax rate is raised slightly--outweighs the certain bad results that will come from the measures being voted down.

I'm glad you're not simply of the "no taxes no matter what" way of thinking. Sorry about the assumption. But you have to admit, there are a lot of people out there who think that being in opposition to all taxes of any kind for anyone is a legitimate political stance. There seem to be many of that stripe who comment on this blog.

In answer to your specific question, I'd be in favor of a sales tax as long as it wouldn't be imposed on food and medicine and would be imposed on services (e.g., accountants, lawyers, barbers) as well as most goods. Sales taxes, as you probably realize, tend to be overly burdensome for the poor if they're not structured properly.

"Oregon taxation is higher than 1st or 2nd in the nation, it is the 2nd highest in the world."

That's pure crazy talk.

Do just a little research. Start with tax rates in Europe, especially those countries with a decent social safety net and, ultimately, a better quality of life and greater prosperity for more of their citizens than we have here in the U.S.

How about this gem from my PTA:

Do all the ads and editorials have you feeling confused about how to vote on Measures 66 and 67?

Please bring your questions to the Jan 20 PTA meeting at 7pm - we've arranged for a speaker from the YES for Oregon campaign to help you sort through the fact and fiction.

I'm sure there wasn't a whole lot of "sorting."

today is your last day to mail in your ballot and know it will arrive on time....better yet use a drop off box found in libraries city halls and other public buildings.

Oregon taxation is higher than 1st or 2nd in the nation, it is the 2nd highest in the world. This is according to the Wall Street Journal which I read because it is usually more reliable and better researched than the Oregonian.

Not only false, but ludicrous and nonsensical. Let's see the proof. Here's an example: Denmark's high end tax rate is 62%. France is around 45%. And so on.

Does it really mean services have to be cut, or is the government using the Recession as a means to extrapolate more tax dollars than needed?

The state's budget is publicly available, down to the last painful detail. There's not enough money. Why not read it for yourself? And given that, how exactly could the state government falsify governmetn financial documents and get away with it?

You ignored the point I was making that this vote is going to set Oregon back economically, not forward.

Prove it. Because I'm profoundly unsympathetic with corporations who declaim a minimal, minimum tax hike once every 75 years.

Let's take a small business grossing $1 million/year. Know how many in Oregon do that? Hint: it's very, very few. Know much the extra tax they'd pay?

$990.

Know how much Nike will pay, approximately?

About $35,000, maximum. Why? Because they only pay tax on sales *in Oregon*.

that's right--Nike's yearly impact is about the cost of one administrative assistant.

So I'm still confused: where is all this economic "impact" going to occur? Because a small business isn't going to pay off an employee to pay another $12/month in taxes, and Phil Knight isn't going to change his business strategy because his taxes now cost the same amount as 20 desk chairs at Nike.

Here, why don't you all try out your favorite scenario?

http://gov.oregonlive.com/taxes/

The state budget shortfall is real, and the impact immediate and severe. The so-called "impacts" of a minimal tax don't seem to have any evidence to back them up--just a lot of and editorials sponsored by--big business.

Ever wonder why Phil Knight would go to all the trouble to lobby against Measure 67? If you think he's doing it because of $35,000, or even $100,000, or because he "cares about the little guy", you're in fr a rude surprise.

Going back to Jack's original point about the incessant mailings, has any one else on here been the recipient of spam E mails from either the pro or con folks?

About 10 months ago in my capacity as an officer of a local non profit, I had an inquiry from one sideabout sending a speaker to one of our meetings.

I replied that they were welcome to come, but that per our many years standing policy, they needed to supply us 30 days in advance with a list of their 10 largest financial contributors in the prior 12 months. They were also advised that the opposing side would be offered an opportunity to speak at the next following meeting, and would also be asked to submit their financial data in advance.

Never hrerad a word back from group 1, but I have received three insolicited E mail ads from them in the last two weeks.

My ballot was s received on Saturday and droped off at the Library on Sunday.

The spam E mail das E mails were all well after the ballot was sent in.

Oddly enough, my vote was serindipitously against the position advocated by the spammers.

Isn't it plausible that the Oregon PTA has a connection, personal or otherwise, with the owner of a print shop and got the printing of the mailer donated? That's what a lot of campaigns do.

Richard and Eco, read the Wall Street article yourself about Oregon being second highest in world taxes. Then send them emails and blog onto their site and question their research. Then disprove it.

I don't know if Oregon's tax rate is as high as lw says, though it doesn't surprise me to hear that. I also don't know if ecohuman's claim about the top tax rate in Denmark is correct. The following article and table from the Economist shows that the US relies much more on income taxes, while the major European nations have much more of a balance between income and consumption (VAT) taxes. The Oregon legislature could have used this opportunity to fix a dysfunctional tax system and add balance to it with a sales tax or VAT-like tax. Instead they decided to play class warfare and cater to those they are beholden to - the public employee unions. Instead of fixing a broken tax system, they made it worse.

http://www.economist.com/businessfinance/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14924473

First:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_rates_around_the_world

If Oregon's tax rate were even increased to 15% (an almost 50% increase), we're not even in the top 100. Explain to me where I've gotten it wrong--because worldwide tax rates are easy to find.

I also don't know if ecohuman's claim about the top tax rate in Denmark is correct.

Read the above link. It's correct.

Richard and Eco, read the Wall Street article yourself about Oregon being second highest in world taxes.

Point me to the article. Meanwhile, read the above link, lw, and tell me how Oregon's tax rate averaging around 10-12% even comes close to any ofthe countries listed. This claim is so ludicrous as to be laughable, but I'll play along.

Those of us who will be affected by Measure 66 and who "care" about Oregon's situation, are faced with a difficult choice. Measure 66 is not as simple as people make it out to be. First, while the tax rate jumps to 10.8% and thence to 11% with incomes for couples with incomes over $500,000, there are additional pieces of the measure that also rapidly phase out the deduction of Federal taxes on Oregon returns. By the time a joint return is at $290,000 the tax rate is 10.8% marginal plus the loss of an addition $5600 in the Federal tax deduction, which reduces to 0. By my calculations, that drives the marginal rate up about 12% for couples. In addition, for those of us with consulting income in a Schedule C proprietorship, or an S corporation, the income there is subject to the additional effects of the higher marginal rates. Individuals eligible to convert conventional IRAs to Roth IRAs will also get nailed by the higher tax rate during the one-time conversion. In fact, the cost of the conversion in higher state income taxes may offset the benefit in savings elsewhere.

Those of us who are mobile and who are not wedded to the charms of living in Portland, may well choose to move across the river and pay sales tax and elude the tax permanently. This is especially true for those of us professionals who have mobility and who can choose where to base ourselves to take advantage of the best tax situation.

After voting for every tax increase to come along at the local and state level until now, I find myself tiring of being the state's pocketbook. We don't have elaborate deductions or complex tax avoidance schemes. We are two people, one of whom is retired and drawing a taxable PERS pension and who has some Schedule C consulting income, and Social Security, and my wife is a working professional who works for an organization that does business in both Oregon and Washington and taxes individuals based on where they live because they work in both states. So, it would prove to be non-disruptive for us to move to Washington and deprive Oregon of any income because we dislike the idea of everyone feeling that we are their piggy bank whenever the bad revenue structure Oregon has takes a spiral downward. We don't consider it our obligation any more to be the cash cow when we already pay full freight on our W-2, 1099R, and Schedule C income. We are already paying the federal AMT and have done so for nearly 11 years. Virtually no deduction we have is allowed and we've accepted the fact that we are in a flat 28% income bracket on virtually all our income. This is pretty much the same for Oregon. Based on our Federal Taxes last year, we gave Oregon close to $40,000 in income taxes (you can do the math). We are not alone in our peer group who feel that we've given repeatedly and we are tired of giving any more to a state that is so unwilling to look at its own tax structure and make the necessary changes.

We have come to the conclusion that it is time to call the Legislature's bluff. I am sure that there will be cuts made, and maybe people won't care if they are, but I'm of the opinion that when people stare into the abyss and decide they don't like what they see, they will be more likely to consider a restructuring of the tax code.

A couple of interesting factoids to consider. The projected shortfall is based on status quo assumptions, including current agency budgets. The agency budgets have been inflated to cover an ANTICIPATED increase in PERS costs, which haven't even been approved. Today I received the agenda and some documents for the January 29th PERS Board meeting (note the date) at which time the actuary will present a proposal to reduce employer projected costs for PERS by at least 300 basis points and a savings of almost $150 million per biennium for the employers. But that decision conveniently waits until after the election. Why, because this is a way for the employers to actually double their money - to capture all the savings from rate increases that materialize at only half of their built-in costs and to gain revenue from a potentially successful M66 which is built on the expectation of rate increases not yet even approved. So, the employers will save $150 million in costs from the base budget and get the money anyway from M66.

And, then we have the kicker. I have heard from knowledgeable sources that we may be looking at a $1 billion kicker refund in December. Eliminating the kicker itself would more than offset the need for any new revenue, since these taxes have already been collected but not spent. What kind of insane policy is it to consider a tax increase before considering measures to repeal the kicker law.

Anyway, count this very liberal person as very fed up with the continuous whining from the state and public agencies about the continual shortage of funds. I no longer believe that the revenue stream is the problem. I believe that we have a totally dysfunctional tax system and the only way to force a referendum on the revenue system in this state is to go through an actual crisis and follow out how the Legislature responds when the public finally calls their bluff.

NO on 66, maybe on 67.

Ecohuman,

It's clear that the statistic lw is referring to is the combined federal and Oregon income tax rates. When Oregon and federal are combined, Oregon would rank fairly high in the list of tax rates around the world, maybe not #2 in the world, but certainly not low. The important point, though, is that Oregon would have the highest state income tax rate in the US.

I'm wondering why the opponents of the measures decry a theoretical job loss, but don't seem concerned with a concrete job loss absent sufficient funding.

I'm also wondering why the first thing folks do when complaining about taxes is decry this or that part of the budget, while ignoring the swelling *private sector demand* for the services (fire, police, roads, environmental maintenance, safety, school staffs, and so on). They act as if these are easily funded if only this or that budget "excess" (PERS, mythical government pay raises, too many public employees, and so on) were reduced or eliminated.

I agree with mrfearless that the tax system needs an overhaul. But there first thing that's needed is a more diverse, reliable source of revenue that doesn't put all eggs in the income tax basket. After resisting it for a long time, I think we need a (equitable) sales tax.

It's clear that the statistic lw is referring to is the combined federal and Oregon income tax rates.

Oh? Then let's compare that to the package of taxes paid by residents of other countries--and other US states. the result is the same, and arguing about whether Oregon sits a percentage point above or below another state is silly; in fact, the combined (state/federal) rates of ALL US states are generally similar. There is no state where residents get off cheaply; likewise, there is no state where residents pay way more than all other states.

The important point, though, is that Oregon would have the highest state income tax rate in the US.

Which is a false argument, because different states pay different packages of taxes--singling out income tax only is missing the entire picture, and misleading. For example, many states have no personal income tax (like Washington), but have a sales tax and other taxes. I've posted it here before, and the rates for every state are readily available.

Advocacy on behalf of children has always been an integral part of PTA's core mission, not just providing art supplies and subsidizing field trips(which PTAs wouldn't have to do if our schools were properly funded). http://oregonpta.org/About/mission.htm This includes taking positions on legislative/electoral issues and working for or against those issues. When parents join their local PTAs (about $15/year)some portion of those dues goes toward such advocacy, and PTA is very up front about the fact that this is part of the budget.

Whether or not you are in favor of Measures 66 & 67, it's certainly understandable and appropriate that Oregon PTA would work on passing those measures.

After listening this morning and then watching this evening, part of the OPB presentation I am glad that Novic isn't in Washington DC. Calling his opponent Dr. Jekyll is totally out of bounds and way too personal for my taste.
Disagreeing is one thing...calling people names and 'making it personal' is just NOT appropriate or useful for productive discourse.
'We the people' need workable solutions to some very serious problems and name calling does not solve anything.
The state legislature needs to try again.

Ecohuman,

For the people affected by these tax increases, "high income" people, the tax that has the biggest impact is the income tax, not the sales tax or any other tax. These people can "get off cheaply" by moving to a low or no income tax state or by choosing not to move to Oregon because our income tax rate is the highest. I personally know people 1) who wouldn't consider Oregon as a home because of our high income tax rate and 2) who have moved out of Oregon upon retirement to avoid our high income tax (e.g., the Minnises). It amazes me that proponents of these increases can't see this or just don't seem to care.

Then why not ask all those who can afford it to help get us through this crisis. Since a business with no taxable income can so easily pay $150, why not ask individuals making $25000-150000 to each pay an additional $150.

I tried to make this same argument to several of those legislators who voted to enact this increase. Someone with a taxable income of $50K or $75K can certainly contribute a little something if the need for the money is as great as M66/67 proponents say it is. Unfortunately, that approach would necessitate some people actually voting to TAX THEMSELVES.

In order to avoid this terrible dilemma, the Dems opted to make the operative principle at work for this poll-tested, focus-group-driven proposal, "don't tax me, don't tax thee, tax the man behind the tree." And the guy behind the tree has taxable income of $125K or more.

I'm voting no, but even in the context of US taxation, Oregon is not very high and is about middle compared to other states.

Oregon has one of the higher income taxes because that basically funds ~70% of basically everything in state gov't.

Remember, Oregon has zero sales tax and fairly moderate property taxes compared to many states. Something that people's "convenient" factoids of Oregon having the world's highest taxes does not -- obviously -- factor in. You need to factor in local and state taxes totaled together.

Turn down the talk-radio talking points and do some independent research that might not involve someone writing an article in a newspaper or media source:

http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/336.html

Personally, I think Oregon should do away with the income tax and install a sales tax. It's difficult to tax people when they work.

And my link shows that Oregon, as it stands before the vote, is ranked #26 in the US for personal taxation at State + Local levels.

Oregon is also ranked #10 for BEST (yes best) business climate in the US:

http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/25681.html

Yes, these things can change. Believe it or not, Oregon has drastically reduced taxes since the late '70s.

Oregon's moderate property taxes are thanks to the people who oppose 66 and 67. If it were up to the "yes" crowd, they'd be nearly double what they are today.

you know what we have been spending 10,000 bucks a kid on k-12 education since measure 5 passed 20 years ago and thats very generous and stable funding so enough of this crap thats its all for the children and their future these tax measures.the state budget shortfall is not real because their is no shortfall.the all funds budget increased from 48 billion to 54 billion so where is the shortfall folks?cut the govt to the bare bone before you even bother to ask about kicker reform.guess what the kicker money is taxpayers and it belongs to us not the whiny,greedy,selfish state govt which has grown 20% since 2007 with no cuts at all.

For the people affected by these tax increases, "high income" people, the tax that has the biggest impact is the income tax, not the sales tax or any other tax.

Yet you're ignoring just how minimal that impact is, and the ability of "high income" folks to pay. Given that Oregonians who make $16,000 a year pay the same marginal tax rate as those making $300,000, why am I supposed to be worried about the wealthier citizen's ability to pay?

These people can "get off cheaply" by moving to a low or no income tax state

I think you're uninformed about how people get taxed. Those "no income tax states" still charge taxes--they just have a different distribution of where they come from. Washington state, for example, has a sales tax, much higher licensing and related fees and taxes, and severla other taxes that help fund services.

In other words, there is no "cheap" state to move to, just a different way of being taxed. If you think a no income tax state is somehow cheaper, go and evaluate Washington.

And my link shows that Oregon, as it stands before the vote, is ranked #26 in the US for personal taxation at State + Local levels.

You're right--yet the majority of readers I see posting here somehow refuse to believe the simple, easy to find facts.

Oregon's moderate property taxes are thanks to the people who oppose 66 and 67.

Compared to all other states, Oregon's property taxes are about average (2007, we're ~1.22%, the US is ~1.38%). Our rate has pretty much risen and fell with the rest of the country--nothing special. And, those states higher than us often have a sales tax to compensate.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/10/business/11leonhardt-avgproptaxrates.html

ecohuman

Just because it has been proven that Oregon's overall taxes are very moderate for individuals and businesses, that does not mean that we can afford, as a state, to increase taxes in a very tough economic time (or even in a good economic time).

Even the big fat Corporations (insert imagery of a CEO smoking a cigar and counting his money atop a Brazilian Walnut desk) are cutting back. Any tax increase on the wealthy is just an increase in goods and services or worse yet a decrease in business activity (i.e. hiring) to compensate for the increased taxes.

Anyways, if rich corporations are so "evil" as portrayed in the advertising of Y66 and Y67...why would they be benevolent and willingly pay more in taxes on their incomes and businesses w/o first making cuts in hiring, personal spending, and overall service reductions? Obviously the logic of some people is escaping and they think that rich people will just fork over money without adjusting their bottom line -- the very bottom line that affects Joe (Microbrew) Six Pack.

Oh right, we're forgetting this is capitalism and even rich people actually help the economy too.

Good schools and Gov't services actually come from an ample private sector. The unions keep painting the picture that Gov't is the absolute foundation for economic success -- when it's the other way around.

that does not mean that we can afford, as a state, to increase taxes in a very tough economic time (or even in a good economic time).

It doesn't mean we *can't* afford it, either.

Any tax increase on the wealthy is just an increase in goods and services or worse yet a decrease in business activity (i.e. hiring) to compensate for the increased taxes.

No, that's not automatically true. And as I've said, Nike's potential increase is less than 50,000/year. Explain to me how that's going to lead to "layoffs".

Better yet, explain to me how the bakery in the current "no on 67" ad, which surely makes less than a half million a year, needs to layoff its employees to meet an additional $11-40/month in taxes? Never mind the fact that most small businesses in Oregon are *Sole priprietorships*, which are entirely unaffected by the measure.

Anyways, if rich corporations are so "evil" as portrayed in the advertising of Y66 and Y67

No, you're calling them evil. At worst, I've seen proponents saying corporations should "pay their fair share".

Good schools and Gov't services actually come from an ample private sector.

And good citizens and government services come from good schools. Perpetuating the myth that somehow there's not a two-way relationship--an interdependency--is arrogant and false.

Oh right, we're forgetting this is capitalism and even rich people actually help the economy too.

More accurately, "rich people" harvest most of the wealth from the economy, leaving a yawning, widening gulf between the rich and poor. "Helping the economy" is always a disingenuous way of trying to justify keeping most of the wealth in a few hands.

You did know that most of the wealth is in a few hands, didn't you?

The unions keep painting the picture that Gov't is the absolute foundation for economic success -- when it's the other way around.

The economy is the absolute foundation of the government? Funny, I thought *citizens* were the foundation of the government. When did "business" become more important than citizens? And don't try to equate the two--that's bunk.

most small businesses in Oregon are *Sole priprietorships*,

You might want to ask the union guys who are feeding you these talking points, where they got that one. I doubt that it's true, and if it is, those businesses are poorly advised.

EH:"No, you're calling them evil. At worst, I've seen proponents saying corporations should "pay their fair share"."

ws:Do you have a TV or radio? That's their entire mantra that it's about "big corporations".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_Y2lk1w32s&feature=player_embedded

*cue CEO guy counting money on a table at the end of the ad*

EH:"And good citizens and government services come from good schools. Perpetuating the myth that somehow there's not a two-way relationship--an interdependency--is arrogant and false."

ws:Of course there's a great relationship. You miss my point: Private sector is the foundation of the house. You can't build the rest of the house w/o the foundation first. It just does not work that way.

EH:"More accurately, "rich people" harvest most of the wealth from the economy, leaving a yawning, widening gulf between the rich and poor. "Helping the economy" is always a disingenuous way of trying to justify keeping most of the wealth in a few hands."

ws:That's just life. I have 2k in the bank and live with my parents. How come I don't want to stick it to the ~2% of people with ~75% of the total capital in this country?

EH:"The economy is the absolute foundation of the government? Funny, I thought *citizens* were the foundation of the government. When did "business" become more important than citizens? And don't try to equate the two--that's bunk."

ws:I misspoke what I meant. Yes, you're correct in the way I wrote it. However, the essence of my point was Gov't services are paid through taxpayer dollars -- taxpayer dollars that are generated through people working and producing and earning an actual income.

Any reduction in the economy from these measures will ultimately mean the few extra dollars rung out from individuals and business is going to mean nothing if the economy does not recover.

You've leveraged getting a few tax dollars out of wealthy people over an economy that might actual recover and generate more tax dollars faster in the long run.

Short term gain against long term sustainability it what this is all about.

That's their entire mantra

Yes, "they" are out to demonize everything. The opponents, on the other hand, are out to only speak the truth.

You miss my point: Private sector is the foundation of the house. You can't build the rest of the house w/o the foundation first.

No, I heard you; I'm saying you're wrong. You want to somehow construct an artificial hierarchy that all life somehow begins in a "public sector" and everything else is built upon it.

How come I don't want to stick it to the ~2% of people with ~75% of the total capital in this country?

You like to make it into a novel where "evil" people "stick it to" other people. I don't buy your melodrama. A corporation making a million dollars in sales paying an extra $85/month is "sticking it to them"? Give me a break.

You've leveraged getting a few tax dollars out of wealthy people over an economy that might actual recover and generate more tax dollars faster in the long run.

In the last decade, the corporate minimum tax has remained $10. Thousands of jobs have been lost. And, the income disparity between rich and poor Oregonians has grown at a tremendous and alarming rate. food banks can't keep up, yet income continues to aggregate at the top. Corporations based out of state continue to try and manipulate Oregon tax laws to minimize taxes

yet when we attempt to get the fraction of people in that "wealthy" segment to pay a modest tax increase, and to get corporations pay a token tax increase, it's somehow unfair? Despite the growing number of poor, the disappearing middle class?

Like that "bakery" in the recent opposition ad? Let's assume they rake in a cool million dollars every year in sales. They'd pay an extra $990/year in taxes. That's about $80/month. In the ad, they lament how the government screwed them over and forced them to layoff two employees.

Because they had to pay an additional $80/month.

Who's lying here? Who's trying to manipulate the story of what's really happening? Any ideas? I'm sure it's the unions--I mean, everybody knows they're just out to screw taxpayers.

Except that they *are* taxpayers.

You might want to ask the union guys who are feeding you these talking points, where they got that one. I doubt that it's true, and if it is, those businesses are poorly advised.

Jack, you teach tax law for a living. I'm sure you can easily verify that small businesses in Oregon are more often than not sole proprietorships (and by small, I mean small--one or two-person operations, with modest sales). I don't belong to a union, and I never have, but I support the idea of having them.

ecohuman:"You like to make it into a novel where "evil" people "stick it to" other people. I don't buy your melodrama. A corporation making a million dollars in sales paying an extra $85/month is "sticking it to them"? Give me a break."

ws:Depends what kind of corporation they are. A C-corp making 1 million a year would pay almost $10,000 dollars more in taxes. At least from this calculator:

http://gov.oregonlive.com/taxes/business/

There are 34,000 C-Corporations in Oregon.

There are 104 C-Corps making over the capped limit that would pay an extra $100,000 in new taxes. That's two career jobs right there just for the high-flying C-corps. 104 * 2 = 208 jobs at worst case scenario.

http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2010/01/the_tax_facts_on_measures_66_6.html

And now, remember we're not factoring in profits -- it's a tax on gross sales. Even a company with a lot of sales and little or even no profits is going to pay a substantial amount of change.

Now combine the business measure with personal income tax increases for the people that are successful in regards to making owning a business, etc -- and you've got a very toxic environment for stabilizing the local economy.

Depends what kind of corporation they are. A C-corp making 1 million a year would pay almost $10,000 dollars more in taxes. At least from this calculator:

Once again, you've got it wrong: For a C Corp with gross sales of $1 million to $1,999,999, the minimum additional tax is $990. That's using the calculator *you* linked to. I invite every reader to use it, enter 0 for taxable income (because that's what a C corporation aiming to pay minimum tax will do--avoid taxable income), and see the result.

There are 34,000 C-Corporations in Oregon.

There are 34,000 C corps *doing business* in Oregon. Do you understand the difference?

And now, remember we're not factoring in profits -- it's a tax on gross sales.

Which has been well-established by both sides of the debate.

Even a company with a lot of sales and little or even no profits is going to pay a substantial amount of change.

Once again--using your own example--the amount is $990. not $10,000, not 9,000, not even $5,000--$990.

Now combine the business measure with personal income tax increases for the people that are successful in regards to making owning a business, etc -- and you've got a very toxic environment for stabilizing the local economy.

Let's use an example then, shall we? A business owner with a business with gross sales of a million a year, and who make an *additional* $500,000 of *personal income*--which sounds extremely rare, but it's a lot of money---would pay a combined total of:

$7,250 (personal)+$990 (corporate)=$8,240.

Tell me again--how would such an amount create a "toxic environment for stabilizing the economy"?

WS, rage on. You're against the measures, regardless of the facts. I'm for the measure, *because* of the facts.

"Jack, you teach tax law for a living. I'm sure you can easily verify that small businesses in Oregon are more often than not sole proprietorships (and by small, I mean small--one or two-person operations, with modest sales)."

You're mixed up. Even small businesses usually register with the state to become a corporation, company, or partnership with some liability limits. Once people realize that they can protect their personal assets from creditors of their business by forming a limited liability company or corporation, they do it. Even people who do stupid things almost every moment of their lives take a break from their normal level stupidity to incorporate.

Forming a corporation or limited liability company doesn't usually shield you from the consequences of your own mistakes, even if made in the company name. But if you have employees or partners, it usually stops you from having vicarious liability for their acts, which is a good thing indeed.

"Once again, you've got it wrong: For a C Corp with gross sales of $1 million to $1,999,999, the minimum additional tax is $990. That's using the calculator *you* linked to."

You're right, I thought you were referring to taxable income. That was my bad.

However, it would still make corporations that do high volume sales and little or even zero profits pay an alarmingly high tax. Feel free to plug those sales in.

"$7,250 (personal)+$990 (corporate)=$8,240.

Tell me again--how would such an amount create a "toxic environment for stabilizing the economy"?

WS, rage on. You're against the measures, regardless of the facts. I'm for the measure, *because* of the facts."

I'm against the measures because taxes need to be logical, not simply levied to fill holes in the budget due to a down economy. I also agree with the Oregonian in getting rid of the kicker checks, and making a rainy day fund for issues like this. Remember, Oregon has been in huge recessions before due to only relying mostly on income taxes and when people aren't working there's no dollars coming in.

I don't smoke cigarettes or gamble much, but I don't believe in the state taking claim to their sales at higher rates than other goods in order to fund schools, roads, and environmental projects (even though eliminating them would mean an increase in other core taxes).

It's about fairness and rationality -- not emotion (i.e. think of the poor children chants).

Increasing someone's taxes $8,000 dollars in one year is a lot in a recession, mind you. Remember, there's other taxes that people have to pay like property taxes/rent increases -- which also went up this year due to Bond measures passing.

Even small businesses usually register with the state to become a corporation, company, or partnership with some liability limits.

No, I'm extremely clear on the matter. Sole proprietorships still register with the state and pay taxes through the personal stream. Sole proprietorship is the most common form of business organization in the US.

Once people realize that they can protect their personal assets from creditors of their business by forming a limited liability company or corporation, they do it.

Except when they don't. I don't care which form of business people choose, or which is more advantageous; and that choosing has nothing to do with the subject at hand.

The big picture about the income gap:

http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2010/01/oregon_wage_gap_widens_economi.html

Be you left, right, middle, whatever, I encourage you to scan this article. I've been trying to point this out here on this post repeatedly: something big is happening, and soon, there may not be much of a middle class to tax. And while that happens, decrying additional taxes to cover basic services might just be arguing over which deck chair on the Titanic has the best view.


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In Vino Veritas

If You See Kay, Red 2011
Turnbull, Old Bull Red 2010
Cherry Tart, Cherry Pie Pinot Noir 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Cabernet, Oakville 2012
Benton Lane, Pinot Gris 2012
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Reserva 2008
Haden Fig, Pinot Noir 2012
Pendulum Red 2011
Vina Real, Plata, Crianza Rioja 2009
Edmunds St. John, Bone/Jolly, Gamay Noir Rose 2013
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 26
Ayna, Tempranillo 2011
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Haley's Block 2010
Apaltagua, Reserva Camenere 2012
Lugana, San Benedetto 2012
Argyle Brut 2007
Wildewood Pinot Gris 2012
Anciano, Tempranillo Reserva 2007
Santa Rita, Reserva Cabernet 2009
Casone, Toscana 2008
Fonseca Porto, Bin No. 27
Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuissé 2011
Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto 2012
Vintjs, Cabernet 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
Rainstorm, Oregon Pinot Gris 2012
Silver Palm, North Coast Cabernet 2011
Andrew Rich, Gewurtztraminer 2008
Rodney Strong, Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Canoe Ridge, Pinot Gris, Expedition 2012
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
Dark Horse, Big Red Blend No. 01A
Elk Cove, Pinot Noir Rose 2012
Fletcher, Shiraz 2010
Picollo, Gavi 2011
Domaine Eugene Carrel, Jongieux 2012
Eyrie, Pinot Blanc 2010
Atticus, Pinot Noir 2010
Walter Scott, Pinot Noir, Holstein 2011
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
Coppola, Sofia Rose 2012
Joel Gott, 851 Cabernet 2010
Pol Roget Reserve Sparkling Wine
Mount Eden Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2009
Rombauer Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2011
Beringer, Chardonnay, Napa Reserve 2011
Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Schloss Vollrads, Spaetlese Rheingau 2010
Belle Glos, Pinot Noir, Clark & Telephone 2010
WillaKenzie, Pinot Noir, Estate Cuvee 2010
Blackbird Vineyards, Arise, Red 2010
Chauteau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005
Northstar, Merlot 2008
Feather, Cabernet 2007
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Alexander Valley 2002
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2002
Trader Joe's, Chardonnay, Grower's Reserve 2012
Silver Palm, Cabernet, North Coast 2010
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
E. Guigal, Cotes du Rhone 2009
Santa Margherita, Pinot Grigio 2011
Alamos, Cabernet 2011
Cousino Macul, Cabernet, Anitguas Reservas 2009
Dreaming Tree Cabernet 2010
1967, Toscana 2009
Charamba, Douro 2008
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend No. 12
Opula Red Blend 2010
Liberte, Pinot Noir 2010
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red Blend 2010
Woodbridge, Chardonnay 2011
King Estate, Pinot Noir 2011
Famille Perrin, Cotes du Rhone Villages 2010
Columbia Crest, Les Chevaux Red 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White Blend
Familia Bianchi, Malbec 2009
Terrapin Cellars, Pinot Gris 2011
Columbia Crest, Walter Clore Private Reserve 2009
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Termpranillo 2010
Ravenswood, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Quinta das Amoras, Vinho Tinto 2010
Waterbrook, Reserve Merlot 2009
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills, Pinot Grigio 2011
Tarantas, Rose
Chateau Lajarre, Bordeaux 2009
La Vielle Ferme, Rose 2011
Benvolio, Pinot Grigio 2011
Nobilo Icon, Pinot Noir 2009

The Occasional Book

Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 285
At this date last year: 137
Total run in 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


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