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Defend Oregon http://www.defendoregon.org Tue, 28 Jan 2014 21:47:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Thanks to you, we did it! http://www.defendoregon.org/2012/11/07/thanks-to-you-we-did-it/ http://www.defendoregon.org/2012/11/07/thanks-to-you-we-did-it/#comments Wed, 07 Nov 2012 05:02:31 +0000 http://www.defendoregon.org/?p=801

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.
Patrick Green
Defend Oregon
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Get Out The Vote! http://www.defendoregon.org/2012/10/30/get-out-the-vote/ http://www.defendoregon.org/2012/10/30/get-out-the-vote/#comments Tue, 30 Oct 2012 18:43:42 +0000 http://www.defendoregon.org/?p=732

Fill out my online form.

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Measure 84 Is More Trick Than Treat http://www.defendoregon.org/2012/10/30/new-ad-alice-finds-that-measure-84-is-more-trick-than-treat/ http://www.defendoregon.org/2012/10/30/new-ad-alice-finds-that-measure-84-is-more-trick-than-treat/#comments Tue, 30 Oct 2012 18:36:58 +0000 http://www.defendoregon.org/?p=726

Just in time for Halloween, Alice discovers that Measure 84 is more trick than treat.

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Corporate Tax Kicker refund to schools http://www.defendoregon.org/2012/10/30/corporate-tax-kicker-refund-to-schools/ http://www.defendoregon.org/2012/10/30/corporate-tax-kicker-refund-to-schools/#comments Tue, 30 Oct 2012 16:16:58 +0000 http://www.defendoregon.org/?p=694

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No on Measure 84 http://www.defendoregon.org/2012/10/30/98-will-see-cuts-to-schools/ http://www.defendoregon.org/2012/10/30/98-will-see-cuts-to-schools/#comments Tue, 30 Oct 2012 16:15:30 +0000 http://www.defendoregon.org/?p=688

Click here to see the full list of organizations and businesses opposed to Measure 84.

Initiative profiteer Kevin Mannix is back with another bad idea: Creating a massive tax break for millionaires by ending Oregon’s Estate Tax.

It’s another terrible idea from a man who’s made a comfortable living by pushing bad ideas onto Oregonians. Here are answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about Measure 84:

How much would this measure cost our schools and health care services?

Eliminating Oregon’s Estate Tax would cost our schools, senior care, public safety, and other priority services more than $240 million every two years. That will mean more teachers layoffs, overcrowded classrooms, and cuts to services like in-home care for seniors.

But it gets even worse. Measure 84 contains an additional new tax break that would allow wealthy households to avoid paying capital gains taxes entirely. This would result in hundreds of millions of dollars slashed from our schools, senior services, and public safety.

Who would benefit?

This is a massive tax break that only benefits the heirs of millionaires. Oregon’s Estate Tax only applies to estates worth more than $1 million. This tax break would only apply to less than 750 of the richest estates each year, while forcing cuts to schools and services that middle-class families depend on.

Why is this tax break a bad idea?

Measure 84 would force deeper cuts to our K-12 schools, long-term care for seniors, and public safety systems, while providing a massive tax break to a small handful of millionaire households.

Large corporations and the rich already have too many tax breaks and loopholes that let them avoid paying their fair share. In the past five years, Oregon legislators have cut K-12 school funding by 5%, while the amount the state gives way in tax breaks has increased by 12%. (See Oregon Tax Expenditure Report, page 5)

At a time when middle-class families are struggling, we can’t afford a big tax break where the richest 2% benefit and the other 98% pays the cost.

Will this tax break help preserve family farms?

No. While the proponents of this tax break claim that it will help family farms, the measure does nothing to help them. Family-owned farms and other family-owned natural resource properties worth up to $7.5 million can already get a tax credit from the State of Oregon that wipes out their entire Estate Tax liability. (See the Legislative Revenue Office’s Basic Facts document, section F1-F5)

This is only about creating new tax loopholes for the very rich.

Who’s behind this measure?

You won’t see his name in the list of chief petitioners, but the main proponent of this measure is initiative profiteer Kevin Mannix. Mannix has used a network of front groups to hide the sources of funding for this measure, and all of the money for signature gathering has gone to a firm that he owns.

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No estate tax break for millionaires http://www.defendoregon.org/2012/10/30/no-estate-tax-break-for-millionaires/ http://www.defendoregon.org/2012/10/30/no-estate-tax-break-for-millionaires/#comments Tue, 30 Oct 2012 15:46:03 +0000 http://www.defendoregon.org/?p=675

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Halloween Comes Early: Who’s Behind the Deceptive “Women’s Voters Guide?” http://www.defendoregon.org/2012/10/25/halloween-comes-early-whos-behind-the-deceptive-womens-voters-guide/ http://www.defendoregon.org/2012/10/25/halloween-comes-early-whos-behind-the-deceptive-womens-voters-guide/#comments Thu, 25 Oct 2012 18:30:03 +0000 http://www.defendoregon.org/?p=638

by Alina Harway, Sockeye Blog

Did you receive a mailing this weekend that looked like this?—>

Wondering who it’s from? No, it’s not the League of Women Voters, nor is it from any group that works on women’s issues. It’s actually from a Republican-aligned group called the Oregon Transformation Project, which is almost entirely funded by money from Stimson Lumber.

How closely aligned are Oregon Transformation Project and the Oregon Republican Party? It’s co-chaired by Allen Alley, chair of the Oregon GOP, and Rep. Dennis Richardson (R-Central Point). Its political action committee is run by Rob Kremer, the treasurer of the Oregon Republican Party. None of them are well known as champions on women’s issues.

Oregon Transformation Project has dumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into GOP candidate races.

So it should come as no surprise that most of the “Women’s Voters Guide” endorsements are for Republicans (including Mitt Romney, Knute Buehler, and Bruce Starr), with a handful of token Democratic endorsements in seats that are safe for the Dems or are unopposed.

It’s a pink-tinted disguise designed to give Republican candidates a boost in key races. If Twitter is any indication, it appears this trick is backfiring.

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