Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Oregon says no to pot, yes to estate taxes

There was mostly good news and some bad with the nine ballot measures facing Oregonians on Tuesday.

Unlike Colorado and neighboring Washington, the Beaver State said "no" to a flawed measure to legalize marijuana. National groups thought the Oregon measure was too broad and would not pass, so they withheld support. A more restrictive measure has a great chance of passing in the future. That said, federal law still says pot is illegal.

Oregonians affirmed their belief that estate taxes are necessary to help level the playing field in our society by rejecting Measure 85, which would have phased out the state inheritance tax. If it had passed, further cuts to public education, public safety and health care were inevitable.

It was great to see Oregonians back public education by passing Measure 85, which re-directs the corporate "kicker" tax refund to K-12 education.

We also rejected, as expected, the creation of non-Native American casinos in the state. That's the last thing this state needed.

Unfortunately, Oregonians passed Measure 79, which prohibits any real estate transfer tax in the future.
We don't have such a tax now, so there is no effect on government budgets. But, it also means that without the ability to broaden our tax base, the burden falls even harder on property taxpayers to make up the difference.

Oregonians have long been trailblazers by being the first in the nation to pass a bottle bill, sweeping land-use reform, assisted-suicide and vote-by-mail; all of which Washington state followed.

Our neighbors to the north, though, have taken the title of political leaders.

Washington affirmed same-sex marriage on Tuesday along with legalizing marijuana. Those are two measures Oregonians will face in the future.

We have some catching up to do, but I'm confident we will do it.


1 comment:

  1. We probably should back up rather than catch up. Society has taken a different path for their future and their children.

    The old saying of "If it isn't broke then don't fix it." should be readdressed. Passing pot laws for use, abortion for alternative, and appeals for denial has undermined many of our historical values and why people came to America to live the American Dream.

    I agree society is in an era of liberalism and moving on with more liberal ways could be beneficial, however this should only happen without compromising our founding fathers main values.