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Jun-11-2009 07:01TweetFollow @OregonNews
Op Ed: Oregon’s Unfair
Henry Clay Ruark for Salem-News.com
(EUGENE, Ore.) - THIRTY-ONE FREELOADERS cost us all taxes from $1 million taxable incomes --via the ridiculous 70-year-old “$10 minimum”, in 2006. MORE THAN 5,000 Oregon corporations earning a profit here PAID NO CORPORATE INCOME TAX “beyond that measly ten dollars” in 2006.
Oregon corporations paid LESS STATE TAX in 2006 than they did A GENERATION AGO. TAX BREAKS now allow many Oregon profit-making corporations to pay ABOUT HALF what was then-due as an equitable share on their gains.
Intel, long No. 1 corporate tax-payer in Oregon, now sells its tax energy credits because its tax liability is so low. In former years Intel paid $50 millions for Oregon public services.
Fortunately, Oregon’s House legislators have now-- FINALLY !-- recognized the realistic problems facing our resplendent State in its education, college/university, and other public services, as well as in our too/long neglected, now-faltering fundamental foundations of all kinds across the entire state.
Despite the hampering and unfair three-quarters majority rule, seen widely now as allowing minority control of majority commonsense actions demanded by changing conditions, the House passed two bills to raise $733 million during 2009-11.
But the State faces $3.8 BILLION in budget shortfall, forcing desperate slashes in education, police and prison operations, college and university programs and access, safety-net services for unemployed and economically disadvantaged, and other public service components.
Current press reports state that business now pays about 38 percent of all Oregon state and local taxes -- seventh-lowest total nationally, with the average at 44.1 percent.
In Washington state, $30 million in retail business would require THREE TIMES the amount assessed in Oregon. The business-share in Oregon taxes has fallen steadily ever since 1971-73: from 10.9 percent of Oregon revenues to only 5.8 percent NOW.
That mirrors a national pattern observed by many astute close followers of crucial public issues, with the surprising downward drive attributed by many to the combined efforts of business/corporate lobbyists and the distortions of public understandings achieved by the notorious GOPster noise machine.
In Oregon, too, Measure 5 has been successful in transferring most of the costs of schools to the state income tax paid by citizens. Business formerly paid almost half of all local property taxes, long the major source for costs of education.
Oregonians can only hope that their ostensibly wiser and more experienced Senators will now also recognize and realize the absolute necessity of that simple two-parter principle so many have learned “the hard way”; even before this current exceptional and singular economic situation submerging the nation and the world as never before since the Great Depression.
That simple statement of unavoidable reality and what it demands for rational, reasonable action is: WE ARE WHERE WE ARE. and NOBODY GETS OUT. Some few, old enough and tough enough to have endured ever since “the Great One”, will perhaps still recognize that truism.
It was common in much public issue discussion then, leading on to what the New Deal accomplished by similar bold action now demanded for all of us --most definitely including our Legislature. We MUST act to preserve our vaunted and valued Oregon lifestyle and its future.
We MUST all share, as equitably as possible now, in what it takes to protect, preserve and provide the absolutely necessary components to return us to that pattern of prosperity we shared and enjoyed together for some certainly solacing decades.
No one can question the wit, will, and wisdom of both the Oregonian business community and our sensitive, sensible, informed and knowing citizens. That’s why so many Oregonians now confidently expect --and will continue to demand-- wise and sensitive action in the Senate --very soon!
Let it begin with such substantive action NOW that the people of Oregon will understand that their elected Representatives and Senators have taken good faith action in close, conscientious performance of their sworn obligations to act for the commonweal with their own best judgment.
That’s what we chose them to do. We need no second-shot at this problem; the only fair solution is neatly set forth in that old truism.
Check this article for background: Op Ed: 'SEVENTY YEARS' Corporate Dodgeball Far Too Much, Too Long - Henry Clay Ruark for Salem-News.com
At 21, Henry Clay Ruark was Aroostook Editor for the Bango, Maine DAILY NEWS, covering upper 1/4 of the state. In the ‘40s, he was Staff Correspondent, then New England Wires Editor at United Press-Boston; later Editor for the Burlington, Vermont 3-daily group owned by Wm. Loeb, later notorious at Manchester, New Hampshire UNION LEADER for attacks on Democratic Presidential candidates.
Hank returned to Oregon to complete M. Ed degree at OSU, went on to Indiana University for Ed.D. (abd) and special other course-work; was selected as first Information Director for NAVA in Washington, D.C.; helped write sections of NDEA, first Act to supply math, science, foreign language consultants to state depts. of education; joined Oregon Dept. of Education as NDEA administrator/Learning Media Consultant for tenyears.
He joined Dr. Amo DeBernardis at PCC, helping establish, extend programs, facilities, Oregon/national public relations; moved to Chicago as Editor/Publisher of oldest educational-AV journal, reformed as AV GUIDE Magazine; then established and operated Learning Media Associates as general communications consultant group. Due to wife’s illness, he returned to Oregon in 1981, semi-retired, and has continued writing intermittently ever since, joining S-N in 2004. His Op Eds now total over 560 written since then.