Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.

For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.

Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!

E-mail us here.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 13, 2013 11:42 AM. The previous post in this blog was Ginny Burdick, victim. The next post in this blog is Pope hype is so 1950's. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
Willamette Week
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Save the envelope legend

When the anti-tax movement took Oregon by storm several decades ago, a bunch of things happened. Property taxes were subjected to constitutional limits that have kept a lot of people from being taxed out of their homes. Without Measure 5, can you imagine how badly the City of Portland would be beating up homeowners these days?

Another thing that happened was that the practice of slipping tax increases onto the ballot during obscure special elections, when few voters pay attention, was curbed. Nowadays when the ballots are mailed out in elections that contain tax increase measures, that fact has to be noted right on the envelope. It's great.

But not if you're the government employee unions, of course. To them, transparency is terrible. It hinders their ability to extract more and more from taxpayers for private pensions, fat cat health care benefits, and other goodies. And so they've got a movement afoot in Salem to get rid of the warning on the ballot envelopes. Let's hope they fail miserably, and that the politicians who are carrying their water on this issue get tossed next time around.

A lot of the anti-tax movement is mean-spirited, but it's done much more good than harm. Meanwhile, the way the government employee unions behave is almost enough to turn us into a Republican. Almost.

Comments (21)

Two thoughts on that:

1. If they're going to print warnings on the ballot, they should print warnings for anti-schools measures as well. "Warning: Ballot Measure 12 will eliminate 350 teaching positions!" and so forth.

2. It's really spectacularly easy to find out what's on the ballot. Should take the average person no more than 5 minutes to figure out what the measures will do. The state should not be in the business of providing special information to one group of people who will be motivated to vote in a particular way.

Jack, there's no doubt that Measures 5 and 50 have controlled property taxes. But I have to say that in the decade or so that I wrote about taxes, I invited Don McIntire and Bill Sizemore many times to find me someone taxed out of their home, and they never could, not even one.

Jim. What was your definition of "being taxed out of your home?"

Did you want an example of someone who was forclosed upon for non-payment of property taxes? A homeowner with any sense would sell and move before it got to that.

If someone decided to leave their taxing district or downsize within it I think they would qualify as being "taxed out of their home." There were plenty of people like that before the property tax limits started kicking in twenty-some years ago.

In the last few years, I have run across at least a half dozen people who listed the Multnomah Co. I-Tax as the reason they finally left Portland.

The insatiable local appetite for taxes, fees & meddling in daily activities is one reason I am in Reno looking at houses RIGHT NOW.

I still pay my $ 300/mo property taxes on my Portland home (more than the initial mortgage payments), but a similar home in Reno would pay $ 800/year in taxes.

NO, I HAVE NOT YET BEEN PROPERTY TAXED out of my home. But taxes are one BIG reason I cannot afford to live there anymore.

And I don't much care to pay for the surplus government employees or that damn bridge, either.

I wonder how many people are now making decisions to leave if that bridge with light rail gets built?

I liked ltjd description:The insatiable local appetite for taxes, fees & meddling in daily activities is. . . .

Meddling alright. There may be many more leaving the way they are going, yet they keep telling us millions more are coming. What a joke! Are there really millions more that want this kind of inept/corrupt scene and control over their lives? What happens in the Pearl and other tax abated abodes when the date expires?

High property taxes are the one reason we are considering moving to a smaller home, maybe in a different state. Despite Measure 5 our property taxes keep going up while our income keeps going down.

fat cat health care benefits


Decent health care is a good thing that every citizen should have.

And it's our blood sucking insurance middlemen that have made that unaffordable not the unions.

find me someone taxed out of their home

If it weren't for Measure 5, you'd have thousands to choose from today. Just like at the thievery that the City of Portland is pulling off at every turn. Next, a city gas tax!


Yes, totally free medical care for life is over the top. Way over.

The preferred liberal tax rate is 100%. The preferred government employee benefit package is 100%.

Any questions?

If they're going to print warnings on the ballot, they should print warnings for anti-schools measures as well. "Warning: Ballot Measure 12 will eliminate 350 teaching positions!" and so forth.

Actually, no. The voters of the state have made quite clear that they think tax increases merit special attention. And if the clowns in Salem change it, there will be another initiative and the same result. Leave the legend alone.

"If it weren't for Measure 5, you'd have thousands to choose from today. Just like at the thievery that the City of Portland is pulling off at every turn. Next, a city gas tax!"

Actually, there IS a Portland city gas tax. That's why gas is so much more expensive in the city limits than in other parts of the Metro area.

"Did you want an example of someone who was foreclosed upon for non-payment of property taxes? A homeowner with any sense would sell and move before it got to that."

Only if they're able to find a buyer for the house. If they can't, then yes, the taxing authority could take the house, but it's a pretty long process.

"If someone decided to leave their taxing district or downsize within it I think they would qualify as being "taxed out of their home." There were plenty of people like that before the property tax limits started kicking in twenty-some years ago.

In the last few years, I have run across at least a half dozen people who listed the Multnomah Co. I-Tax as the reason they finally left Portland."

You know Pancho, I seem to recall shortly after the I-tax was passed, suddenly there were a WHOLE lot of houses available for sale in Portland. And housing values in Washington and Clackamas Counties were going up thanks to increased demand...

No matter how much money the schools receive, it will never be enough.

Likewise, at the comp plan meetings, the City of Portland makes the statement wages in Portland have not kept up with inflation thereby increasing the cost of living for most residents. What hasn’t been admitted to is that wages have not kept up with tax and fee increases assessed in the City of Portland, and that social engineering is one of the one driving factors for those tax and fee increases.

I sold my house and left the City of Portland, largely over property taxes. The taxes in my current town are quite a bit lower. So are the other fees and utilities.

So you might say that the City property-taxed me out of my house, and out of the City altogether. There were other reasons, but this was the biggie.

Jack wrote: Meanwhile, the way the government employee unions behave is almost enough to turn us into a Republican. Almost.

Vote however you like; but, you won't be ready for recovery until you move out of Portland. It really takes the edge off. Begin again, off-City.

Once you get there, it's okay to be a Conservative Democrat, or a Liberal Republican, or what have you. Believe it or not, we really do value the individual, with all of their complexities. Also, your vote might count once in a while.

Do join us. The State has problems, but we can push back. You would be welcome.

jimmayer, let me add to the examples of "taxed out of their homes".

A sweet senior lady had a 1896 house her husbands parents built. She lost her husband, then her brother-in-law who lived with her to help pay her property tax died. She only had social security, a few possessions she sold off to help pay for the unexpected. Then she got on medicaid and a few other programs. But she still struggled to make it as her property taxes went up progressively and she needed to sell.

Then M5 passed, helping her for several years to hang on with the 3% property tax increase limit. That kept her honor and a home she had known since childhood. After many increases in other CoP tax/fees/service increases and new ones they implemented and even with the 3% limit she was finally "forced" to sell.

This to me, is how citizens are "taxed out of their home". In the M5 case, it helps delay it.

Don McIntire knew of many of these same stories. When you asked your question, I think he, in his mind, just rolled his eyes with your uninsightful question that you should have been able to answer yourself. Don had the moxie to be polite.

I consider rising utility costs another way people are being "taxed" out of their homes. Didn't Gresham just declare they were going to raise water rates as a tax on residents? My brother-in-law and his wife are looking to downsize now that their kids are grown, but they are looking at WA County to get rid of high taxes (and political craziness) in Portland. People of means have choices - but maybe these are the folks Portland would rather do without anyway - to make things more equitable after all.

And I agree about putting notices on envelopes when there are measures affecting one's property taxes. It's still the only way we have to vote to tax ourselves as so many of the other taxes and fee charges are now being levied by others. How did that happen? Time for another revolt. Do we still have something close to "consent by the governed" anymore? Maybe in Clakistan..... ?

I'm not saying there were no cases of people who felt compelled to sell their homes because of the high cost of living in Portland, including high property taxes. There may have even been more direct cases of people "forced out of their homes" by property taxes. What I'm saying is that the leaders of the political movement to limit property taxes made that claim as a center piece of their argument, and had an obligation to back it up with facts. They never could. And I doubt Don McIntire was too polite to mention it. I never found Don the least bit shy in expressing his opinion about something I wrote, or anything else for that matter.

Jimmayer, what more can I say, or others. Do you want me to give the name and address of the person and her full financial statement to show you that raising her property taxes 12% in one year on a fixed income gave her only one choice-move, die? The point has been made but you are missing it.

While it may be difficult to cite actual examples of people who were "taxed out of their homes", it is certainly true that fixed income people in the seventies and eighties had a real concern that they might be taxed out of their homes. At the rate property taxes were increasing, it was a certainty.

The indisputable fact is government can never have enough money and the government class is the only class that continues to prosper without sacrifice. Private sector employees and business owners are hurting. This is undeniable. Wages are not rising. Profits (for non-national, small business) are diminishing. The left somehow twists that into some turn-of-the-century battle of the working man against "the man". But the fact is, it is those who provide tax revenue against those who consume tax revenue.

Pers. Tri-Met. The list goes on ad-nauseum. With a very few exceptions, the only unions that wield power in this century are the public employee unions. They are supported by everyone else.

How many of you, who do not have government jobs, have received cost of living increases in the last four years?

Very few, I would wager.

And mandating benefits, or a "living" minumum wage, or any other knee-jerk liberal solution only exacerbates the problem.

I have signed the front of paychecks since 1983. I have provided good jobs, with benefits, to my employees in all that time.

My salary is currently 45% of what it was five years ago. I did that to prevent laying off employees for whom I care deeply.

How many government sector managers are getting by now with a 55% pay cut?


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
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: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
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

Clicky Web Analytics