William Yardley gets quite a few inches in tomorrow's issue to discuss the impact of measures 66 and 67. He goes to rural Jackson County to assess the impact of the measures on basic services out there.
What happens here may be closely watched elsewhere. While tax increases are probably coming in plenty of other states, most by executive or legislative action, Oregon will be the first this year to ask voters to raise taxes on themselves — or at least on some of themselves.
Oregon is one of only five states with no state sales tax, and voters have repeatedly rejected ballot initiatives to create one. In addition, a statewide cap on property taxes limits how much local governments can raise rates each year.
When times are good, the state sends kicker refunds to residents from revenue that exceeds forecasts by state economists. In December 2007, just as the country was entering the recession, Oregon returned $1.1 billion to residents, bounty from the previous boom year, because of the kicker law. By the spring of 2009, as Oregon’s unemployment rate was on its way to becoming one of the highest in the nation, the Legislature was voting to raise taxes by $727 million, the increase now before voters.
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