When Oregon voters passed ballot Measure 5 in 1990, they were rebelling against property taxes in an attempt to lower the burden that a recent housing boom had put on local area home owners.
The measure greatly reduced the amount of property taxes that could be levied and summarily reduced the total tax base in Oregon by a significant amount.
Tuition costs at state universities, like Portland State University, jumped an average of 40.8 percent the following year as a greatly reduced state budget was rolled out.
This past year, as a tuition surcharge went into effect, raising tuition by roughly 10 percent statewide, analysts pointed to 1990 and said, “It could be worse.”
Now it is worse.
Now PSU administrators are looking at what bills can be ignored (like maintenance) and what spending can be cut (like women’s tennis).
Read on to learn about the process being used to determine what gets cut and the people whom those decisions impact.