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Bring your budget concerns along to Monday's Town Hall meeting

It's time to reclaim the tax accountability issue from the so-called right wing. Lack of accountability of politicians to their constituents is a core issue of everything wrong in governments worldwide. We should not be talking about cutting OHP without scrutinizing allocations. We should not be talking about more taxes without asking our representatives to show up, Big Budget in hand. It's ludicrous for them to hold these Town Hall meetings and not expect to bring a whole lot of information to the table, including how much we pay in corporate welfare.
So, bring your favorite bad-investment examples. It's time to talk about real government accountability before they suck us all dry, while still glad-handing their way past dying people. In fact, please post your least favorite budget allocations to this article. We should do some research and possibly call our representatives and tell them to come with a budget in their hand, and the know-how to talk about it.

( ... oh, and anarchists, i understand you're not necessarily interested in reformist anything ... that the whole thing stinks ... and you may be right ... but i see this as at least part of the process of revealing just how much it all stinks)

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Information on Monday's Town Hall meeting:

Portland Town Hall with House and Senate Democratic Leaders Kate Brown and Deborah Kafoury, Senate Ways and Means Co-Chair Kurt Schrader, Senator Avel Gordly, Senator Margaret Carter and Representative Jackie Dingfelder. Monday, June 9, 7-9 P.M. in the Grant High School Cafeteria (2245 NE 36th Ave.) Please call (503) 655-2793 if you have questions or need a ride.
Email to Deborah Kafoury 06.Jun.2003 12:48

j

Good Morning Representative Kafoury,

I was at the Kendra James/Police Accountability/Grand Jury Reform meeting at the Capitol on Wednesday and was impressed with your resolve, that there is a time for patience and a time for action; that the time for action is now. You said you are in for the long haul and seem to mean it.

An ancillary issue of Police Accountability, it has been generally acknowledged, is support for social services like OHP, including addiction services.

My issue is this. At the press conference, dollar amounts were discussed for saving OHP and other social services. However, only raising revenue was discussed as an option for getting the necessary funding. I was especially troubled that a sales tax was mentioned because it's regressive, and would further burden people who are already struggling. A man spoke up and said "We need to look very closely at how you're already spending our money before I feel comfortable saying it's ok for you to tax us more. If we find that you're spending the money you already have responsibly, *then* we can discuss more taxes." He got forced smiles and no response.

I think we both know there is a lot of corporate welfare in this state, not that I'm saying we're unique in that. What I am saying is that it's time to look closely at it. Recently, the successful smoking cessation program was entirely shut down to reclaim their remaining 4 to 5 million dollars to the General Fund to try to balance the budget. A drop in the bucket. However, the Hundreds of Thousands of dollars given corporate entities, such as OHSU, as well as tax breaks and complete tax exemptions ... not to mention illegally unpaid taxes that government commissions seem to refuse to pursue ... well, you get the picture. Why can't we reclaim the corporate handouts?

Representative Kafoury, will you bring the whole budget to the Town Hall meeting on Monday, June 9th, at 7pm, at Grant High School? ... along with an open mind and a good sum of courage to stand up to the will of corporate lobbyists (tobacco, OHSU, etc)?

I and countless others would really appreciate it.

not the whole budget 06.Jun.2003 13:48

but a peek

 http://www.bam.das.state.or.us/

for the complete budget, you still have to go down to salem and ask for a hard copy. I'm told it's huge.

Correction to my letter to Rep. Kafoury 06.Jun.2003 13:54

j

CORRECTION:
"...Hundreds of Thousands of dollars given corporate entities..."
should read
"...Hundreds of MILLIONS of dollars given corporate entities..."

img 06.Jun.2003 14:48

img

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Tax credits 06.Jun.2003 18:09

Lynn

At the April 22 Town Hall meeting we were told that 58 cents of every dollar that would be collected in taxes is deducted for tax credits. Why should there be any tax credits, except for self and children?

I hope everyone will show up at this meeting and sound off. It's an easy walk from the Hollywood MAX station for from the Sandy bus line.


James 07.Jun.2003 11:27

fangirl

Where are you? I thought this would be one of your favorite issues.

East Bank Esplanade 08.Jun.2003 11:21

Silly Wizard

Vera's East Bank Esplanade is the most insane civic "improvement" I have ever seen. It must have cost $100's of thousands, maybe millions. What an incredibly dumb idea: A nice park alongside a horrible freeway. Lovely! I might change my mind if they tear down the freeway.

In case you don't know what this is, it is the sidewalk/bike path on the east side of the river across from downtown. It runs along the freeway and is noisy and smelly as hell. I still can hardly believe they went through with such a stupid project. I am a very long time, dedicated bicycle rider. I like nice bike paths and wish there were more, but not like this one.