Thanks to you, we did it!
This morning, we’re celebrating a historic victory that’s been three decades in the making: Reforming the corporate kicker so that we’re using our tax dollars to fund our schools-not tax breaks to big, out-of-state corporations.
For everything you did to help make this happen, I just want to say Thank You.
We started this journey a year ago, when we filed the initiative to reform the corporate kicker. Very quickly, we were able to gather more than 205,000 signatures to put it on the ballot.
We were able to gather those signatures so quickly because Oregonians believe strongly that we can’t wait any longer for a solution to our ongoing school-funding crisis.
Oregonians in every community in the state know that we need to start investing in our schools. And they know that we can no longer afford to hand out giant tax breaks to big corporations when we’re facing some of the largest class sizes and shortest schools years in the nation. Passing Measure 85 was the first step in a broader conversation about investing in our priorities.
Oregonians also soundly defeated Kevin Mannix’s measure to repeal the estate tax for millionaires. Measure 84 would have cost our schools and basic services more than $240 million every two years, just to give a tax cut to the richest 2%.
The big victory on these two measure should send a very clear signal: When it comes to protecting our most important priorities, Oregonians believe that we need adequate funding and that we need a tax system that’s fair.
Unfortunately, the backers of Measure 79 (the constitutional ban on real estate transfer taxes) were able to buy a win with nearly $6 million in dishonest ads. The Realtors’ campaign has been called one of the most cynical and misleading campaigns Oregon has ever seen. It’s unfortunate that the measure’s backers refused to have an honest conversation with voters.
Last night’s victories on 84 and 85 are the result of hard work and collaboration by an enormous coalition of organizations and volunteers. You can go here to see the full list (Measure 84 and Measure 85), but I’d like to mention some truly amazing partners like Basic Rights Oregon, Oregon PTA, SEIU, AFL-CIO, OLCV, Oregon Education Association, SEIU, Human Services Coalition of Oregon, and dozens more organizations and small businesses.
Because of this large coalition and our many, many volunteers, we were able to have tens of thousands of conversations with voters by phone and on doors. Just yesterday morning, 127 hearty souls gathered together at 4am to deliver last-minute vote reminders to more than 13,000 doors!
The historic victories on reforming the corporate kicker and defeating the estate tax repeal are only the beginning of the conversation about how we can come together to protect the things we care about.Now begins the hard work of figuring out how to reform Oregon’s revenue system in a way that brings in real money for Oregonians’ priorities, doesn’t shift the burden on to middle-class families, and-most importantly-will have the support of voters.In order to secure a brighter future for Oregon, it’s going to take all of us working together. We look forward to staying in contact with you over the coming months so we can make sure that our state is focused on protecting our priorities.