By Alan DeBoer: If you have an open mind, I would like to give you another viewpoint.
That was an interesting guest commentary on Thursday (see Jan. 7 "Passing measures 66 and 67 essential for Ashland schools"). If you have an open mind, I would like to give you another viewpoint. I am more worried that if the tax increases stand, the problems we now have will become worse.
For as long as I have kept track, government has spent all funds available, except when evil corporate Oregon went to the government and said keep our kicker and establish a rainy day fund. Surprisingly — it was a lot of money — I have had difficulty in finding the status of that fund. The problem with the continued spending is that the basis multiplies, and the strain on revenue causes measures 66 and 67. Eventually, it will collapse the system.
I think we would all agree that education is worse off than eight years ago: large class sizes, reduction in programs, increasing teacher stress, and a shorter school year. What may surprise you is that in this budget, education was cut 1.67 percent (if you remove higher education, then K-12 was cut 5.7 percent), while state administration increased 13 percent.
The corporate minimum tax of $10 is only paid if you lost money; otherwise C Corps are at 6.6 percent tax if they keep the profit for growth and capital, plus another 9 percent if sent to shareholders. Most corporations are now S Corps or LLCs, and all pay the $10, but then all the profits go right on the personal taxes at 9 percent.
This is what distorts the information that you are being told about the share of corporate taxes to state income; it is now on a personal return.
Regarding the totally new concept of tax on gross sales, it is just a sales tax that can't be visibly passed on to a consumer, and only paid to the state if you are losing money, really not an Oregon solution.
Then to the higher income earners in our state. All are mobile and can move, most create a lot of jobs, and your favorite charity loves their donations.
With the passage of the taxes, Oregon will have the highest personal tax rate in the country. Where would you locate your business, and what does that say when you ask the new business owner to come to Oregon?
The current state budget lists 1,538 new state employees, strange when schools are cutting teachers and staff, and we all know what is happening in private sectors. Join me and vote no on both measures. I am committed in continuing to help our elected officials, but we must work together and not make laws in a vacuum.
Alan DeBoer is a former Ashland School Board member and mayor.