A No vote on Measure 79 ensures that property taxes won't escalate even faster than they should.
Realtor organizations in Oregon and nationwide have pumped in close to $5 million promoting an initiative that is completely bogus.
There is no real estate transfer tax and no plans to enact a statewide transfer tax, which is imposed on sales of real estate.
Real estate agents rake in a ridiculous cut, up to 7 percent, on each sale of a home. A real estate transfer tax cuts into the Realtors' profit so they are vehemently against it.
A real estate transfer tax, if we ever had one, would be worthwhile because it would help temper the extreme spikes in the marketplace. Realtors helped cause the real estate market meltdown because they participated either directly or indirectly in the speculation game. Some real estate agents, like Deschutes County Commission candidate, Tom Greene, gambled big and lost big. That's why he is running for a job that pays double the state average. He needs the dough.
But, there is no real estate transfer tax and likely never will be.
We shouldn't, though, take the option off the table. Measure 79 prohibits any local government from ever enacting one, even if it would benefit the community.
By not having the option to diversify or broaden the tax base, it leaves property taxes as the only avenue for revenue. And, when that happens, property owners become rightfully irritated and tend to vote no on local bond measures even ones that would be in their best interests to pass.
And, when property owners vote no often enough, the community suffers in the long term.
When the community suffers, so do property values. When property values decline, so do the incomes of Realtors.
Don't let Realtors and their deep pocket organizations destroy our communities.
Vote NO on Measure 79.