Oregon voters are contemplating a three-year tax increase that, if passed, will generate $725 million dollars through 2005.
The average personal income tax rate would increase one-half of one percent and corporate rates would be raised by approximately one-third of one percent (as reported in the Vanguard).
The “average student” (always a problematic category at Portland State University) making less $10,000 dollars a year would not be affected. This would not be the case if Measure 28 fails: The “average student” would be faced with finalization of the $120-per-term surcharge already implemented on student accounts. It would also cause some dramatic tuition increases, most notably during summer quarter and for graduate students. This is not acceptable.
It is worth noting that arguments in opposition to Measure 28 are not completely without merit. We are sympathetic to the fact that there is much discontent among the general populace and among Republicans in the State House of Representatives about the past use and misuse of taxpayers’ money.
But this does not mitigate the fact that other state and national economic factors have contributed to and continued Oregon’s slide into economic turmoil. Asking for additional sacrifice from those in society who are most in need of assistance is a terrible solution to a much more extensive problem. Voting No on Measure 28, even if you carry vast contempt for tax increases, will only shift the burden to those who are least able to carry it.
We urge you to Vote YES on Measure 28 and to hand deliver your ballots to the appropriate drop-off sites by Tuesday, Jan. 28.