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Op-Ed: Oregon Family Tax Cut Measure Approved For The November BallotTim King Salem-News.com Your Vote 2006
The measure would force deep cuts in the amount of money allocated for Oregon's already fragile school system, public safety and human services.
(SALEM) - FreedomWorks Oregon members, led by state Director Russ Walker, are cheering the news that their efforts to qualify a tax relief ballot measure have succeeded. But in an age when the poor are growing increasingly hungry, Freedomworks' slogan, "More Money for Education Not the Solution" is considered offensive to the vast majority of Oregon educators. The teachers are the ones in the trenches ducking the bullets and working under increasingly difficult conditions, trying to bring success to a system that has already outgrown itself, and now being asked to do more with less than ever before. Many in Oregon view it as the latest attempt by conservatives to save money for the state's wealthier citizens at the sake of Oregon's most challenged residents, while at the same time, striking out at the reduced budgets of police and schools. FreedomWorks, based in Medford, Oregon, received official approval from Oregon's Secretary of State that the measure is certified for the ballot. The measure, which will now be considered by Oregon voters this fall, would give Oregon taxpayers the option of taking either the state personal exemption or the more generous federal exemption. The effective result of this measure will be several hundred dollars a year in lower taxes for the typical Oregonian according to Freedomworks, and the likely removal of police, eductional and public welfare programs already crippled by a lack of voter support in Oregon, according to opponents. Jennifer Lovell is a single mom from Lafayette, Oregon. She says passage of the measure would be a disaster, "Schools will probably close, and fewer kids will eat. Poorer families are so financially stressed that the last thing they are worried about is a tax break." She says other people in her shoes, "are expressing little relief in this lastest right-wing led effort to save a few dollars for the state's wealthier citizens, while causing state police to work under more dangerous circumstances through fewer numbers." Maybe that is why Oregon had the dubious distinction as the state featured in Michael Moore's Farenheight 911 when it comes to police funding, or the lack of it. Oregon used to be a leader in taking care of people and the environment but the truth is, Oregon has become a joke in the national media time and time again. The state's lack of police funding stays in the news all the time; small town Oregon cops being roused from bed in the middle of the night because there are no state troopers anywhere close. Some critics charge that Republicans find ways to make the poor a little poorer, streets a little less safe, and kids a little less educated. They point to the profound lack of understanding in most of the GOP tax reformists, as they have for the most part never had to be truly concerned about where their next meal is coming from, or anything close. They are of course led by George W. Bush, who leads the list of people who have never had to suffer, and as a consequence never "got it" or even figured it out. This latest measure, which will now be considered by Oregon voters this fall, would give Oregon taxpayers the option of taking either the state personal exemption or the more generous federal exemption. The effective result of this measure will be several hundred dollars a year in lower taxes for the typical Oregonian according to FreedomWorks’ Russ Walker, “I’d like to thank all of the FreedomWorks members who worked hard to get family tax relief on the ballot." The Oregon Family Tax Cut measure will result in tax relief of over a $1,000 for the typical family of four.
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