Don't target small businesses for taxes

As the owner of a small business in Ashland I am writing to urge you to vote no on Measure 67. Large corporations should pay their share, but small businesses will be the ones who suffer. Many small businesses are set up as corporations. Sure my business only pays $10 in taxes per year, but the employees have our taxes taken out of our checks just like everyone else.

If we want to see small businesses thrive, we need to stop seeing them as endless sources of revenue and recognize that they are struggling to stay alive and provide jobs for local people. I'm hoping to continue providing the three jobs that support 10 family members, but that will happen only if there is support of small business from the community and the Legislature. Keep Oregon business sustainable. Vote "no" on 67.

Robin Jokinen

Ashland

Fat cats against tax fairness

Another election, and of course another campaign by the wealthy to frighten the poor into voting against their interests.

Oregon media are now clogged with dire warnings that, if measures 66 and 67 pass, businesses will fail, employers will move out of state, and countless jobs will be lost.

Anyone who has read the voter's pamphlet knows that these predictions are scare tactics, pulled out of thin air to frighten the ignorant. And anyone who's followed the money trail cited in the voter's pamphlet knows that the top donor to Fat Cats Against Tax Fairness — the unacknowledged pseudonym of this bunch — is the Oregon Bankers Association, with several major timber corporations and out-of-state right-wing groups among the major funders.

Most of us know, of course, that the greedy rich are ready to see Oregon fold before ponying up. On Jan. 26, let's help them finally pay their fair share.

Isaac Walker

Ashland

State needs to spend less to fix problems

Over the last 20 years, the Oregon budget has only increased. It never has gone down. State spending increased 86.33 percent over the past 10 years (to $55.9 billion from $30 billion). It increased an astounding 22 percent two years ago and 9 percent last year.

The problem in Oregon is not revenue, but spending. Endless streams of people come to Salem with "needs" — some are valid, many are not — especially in tough economic times. The Legislature provides funds for the "wants" of their constituents, and then says there is not enough left for essential services. It's an old trick. Don't fall for it. Vote "no" on measures 66 and 67.

Tim Simonsen

Ashland

More information needed for decision

Still trying to make up my mind on this one. We've seen the cuts locally to our schools and public service agencies so I understand the proposed problems they say will occur if not passed.

Does anyone know what cuts the state government has made to their (our) staff to balance the budget? It will help to know before we vote.

Donald Politis

Ashland

State lacks discipline in its spending

Proponents of measures 66 and 67 tell you that Oregon is in a financial crisis and the solution is to take more money out of an economy in recession. Individuals, families and businesses have cut back to deal with these hard times.

However, in the current budget, allegedly crafted under the cloud of a crisis, the Oregon Legislature has expanded programs, added 1540 additional employees, increased spending by $4.7 billion (9.3 percent) and increased long-term debt by $4 billion. All of this spending in 2009 was on top of a 21 percent General Fund spending increase in 2007.

In short, government spending compounds and Oregon's spending is unsustainable. Oregon's problem is not the need for more revenue, but the need for more discipline in spending. It's time to hold our elected representatives who work for us accountable and vote "no" on measures 66 and 67.

Alan & Michele Hassell

Ashland