Oregon’s Revenue Recovery 7th Best in Nation. Measure 97 Would Challenge That Progress.

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From the beginning of the Great Recession to the end of 2015, Oregon’s revenue recovery outpaced all but six U.S. states. The new dollars have been put into education, adding universal full-day kindergarten and moving Oregon from 29th in the U.S. in per student K-12 spending up to 23rd, according to the National Education Association (NEA). Oregon’s revenue forecast—which was released last week—anticipates continued revenue growth.
According to an Oregon Business report Oregon’s state revenues at the end of 2015 were 16 percent higher than the recession-era peak (Q4 2008). That was well above the 50-state average (6.5 percent) and Washington State’s revenue recovery (5.6 percent) and was seventh best in the nation. The increased revenue has been a result of a growing economy.
Personal income tax revenues were up 15.2 percent in 2013-15 over 2011-13 and corporate income tax revenues were up 26.3 percent over the same period.
Revenue growth has led to big education investments. Oregon’s 16 percent increase in higher education funding for fiscal year 2016 led the nation and the 2015 Oregon Legislature funded universal full-day kindergarten for the first time. The National Education Association (NEA) reports that Oregon’s spending per-student enrolled in K-12 education moved up six places from 29th in the U.S. in 2011-12 ($9,811) to 23rd in 2014-15 ($11,127).
Oregon has an additional $2 billion to spend this biennium over last and the state economist forecasts revenue growth of $1.6 billion in 2017-19 and $2 billion in 2019-21.
This data should lead a thoughtful person to question the need for Measure 97 that would not only act as a consumption tax on many of the goods and services Oregon families buy every day, but will reduce private sector employment opportunities.
Do you really want the Oregon legislature to have an additional $3 billion every year to spend any way they wish?
Just while our economy is recovering and growing do we want Oregon’s employers to relocate their operations to states that don’t impose confiscatory taxes —
taking with them many thousands of private-sector jobs and blowing a huge hole in the state’s economy?
We don’t!

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About Author

Pamela Hulse Andrews CBN Publisher/Founder, Bend, Oregon

Thanks to getting fired 20 years ago by a previous publication, Pamela Hulse Andrews became the founder and publisher of Cascade Publications Inc. which publishes both the print and online versions of Cascade Business News and Cascade Arts & Entertainment. Pamela’s diverse business background gives her a broad perspective on the arts and business community. She has championed the growth of the arts in the high desert region and played a leadership role in connecting the dots between arts and economic vitality. She writes an assortment of monthly and weekly columns on local arts, politics, business and the economy, creativity and developing entrepreneurship.

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