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education oregon elections 2006

Say NO to new local income tax proposal! Tell Potter NO!

A new local income tax for schools is plain nonsense and will do nothing to solve the education problem.
No more local income taxes for schools! Tell Potter NO

I voted for the late ITax too... but what a mistake. It hasn't done diddly. I'm going to vote every half-assed proposal like this down from now on. Yes, I support our schools, and yes, I've got kids who will be impacted. But these little measure are like trying to cover an amputated limb with a band-aid. It might slow the hemorrhaging for a bit, but only a short bit. I say, let the situation get worse until our politicians are forced to fix this permanently. I'm sick of us here in Portland getting double-taxed. First our property tax base goes to fund the rest of the state's schools, and then we have this idiotic income tax to try to bring some of the funding back to OUR schools. I say if you decide to live out in the hicks, then figure out a way to fund your own schools -- don't rely on us in the cities to do it for you.

And for folks like me, we're basically getting triple taxed: Property, I-tax, and then since it doesn't do enough for the schools anyway, I end up forced to pay private school tuition to boot. I'm sick of it. Tell Potter and his new proposal to go to hell.
I agree 26.Jan.2006 21:38


I'm self employed, have no retirement, no health insurance. I'm middle-aged. Last year I ended up putting the school tax on my credit card and still owe it. Then I read about the retired school teachers (my age) getting a huge retirement and benefits. So where does this tax money really go? Not to the children. I have 6 years of college and so does my husband. We are making less than we were five years ago. The economy is down and the school system will have to trim benefits/salaries like the rest of us.If the schools were a private business and not able to keep taxing us they would figure out how to balance their budgets.

No reform, no new funding 26.Jan.2006 22:33


Where have the recent funding increases been directed? Not to the classrooms and the kids. They have gone to improve already generous benefits and control for the adults in the education industry. As long as those in control of public education continue to oppose real reform, such as school choice and efficient administration, I will not support one nickle of increased funding. Of course, those of us who speak against the Itax will be dubbed "anti child" and worse. I have tremendous respect for school teachers and the work they do. What I don't respect is the selfish, disingenuous special interest organization that represents them. Money is not the problem, and more money is certainly not the solution.


$900 million dollars+ could be available 26.Jan.2006 23:05


absoulutely, positively NOT Mr. Potter!

How about a 1% tax on corporate profits within the city?
Why place this on the backs of the working men & women of this city?

Use your political clout to get those idiots in Salem off of their asses
and permanently fund schools STATEWIDE.
Why not fund schools with lottery profits? -ALL lotto profits should go to schools
and health care.
NOT to economic development (or so they call it).

below from  http://fairelections.net/

Oregon corporate income tax rates have decreased by 40% over the past 12 years, leaving Oregon with the lowest taxes on corporations of ANY state, while schools and other public needs suffer.

Portland General Electric (still owned 100% by Enron) since 1997 has charged Oregon ratepayers over $800 million for "income taxes" it never paid.
COLLECT IT - Finance our schools and social services with it!!

Oregon Center for Public Policy (2005): Corporations in Oregon pay 71% less in state income taxes than they did in 1975 (as % of gross state product). In 1975, they paid 18.5% of income taxes in Oregon; now they pay 4.6%. Without new tax breaks, the corporations would be paying $900 million more per year.


NINE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS+ A YEAR - Would this not solve the school finance problem ???????

How dare you feed us this crap about needing more taxes from the working class.
Collect from the corporate thieves!
Stop the corporate give-aways NOW. We are in a healthcare & school funding crisis!

If Portland won't support Portland schools - who will? 27.Jan.2006 08:51

Doug Williams

I am suprised by this post. Most people on this site aren't radically against taxes - especially taxes that go for the education of our kids. I am afraid if this measure does not pass, the kids will suffer. Also I have not heard of ANY alternative plans other than this tax. I urge the people of Portland to consider the future of the children.

teachers are not the bad guys 27.Jan.2006 09:09

teachers pet

I am dismayed to see that people on indymedia can be so unsupportive of teachers. When it comes to other labor issues everyone gets behind the unions but in this case the teachers and the union are being made out to be the villains. Most teachers don't have job security in this state because when the budget is cut it is teachers who lose their jobs. They have to deal with a lot of crap in the classroom and little pay especially compared to other college graduates. Managers at convenince stores get paid more. They are expected to keep furthering their education at their own expense.

How can you have a problem with them getting benefits? Shouldn't we support benefits for everyone? My husband is a teacher and they raised the insurance so a huge chunk gets taken out of his paycheck each month. The retirement they get is because they have to pay another big chunk each month to that. If this was any other labor group people would be supporting them, why the double-standard for teachers?

I think that the comments regarding privatization of education are quite scary. It seems to me that the schools are being starved intentionally so they will eventually have no choice but to privatize. Will having our schools run by corporations make things better? This is a very different kind of business that shouldn't be concered about some bottom line. These are our children and it benefits the whole population to have everyone educated.

I live in the "hicks" and we also have to pay property taxes and our children have as much a right to an education as any city kid. Most of the people around here are retired and refuse to vote for any tax to help the schools so where exactly are schools suppsed to get money?

How exactly is the money supposed to go to the kids? What programs would you consider as worthy of funding? At our schools we don't have equipment for many things; all the programs are suffering except sports. Teachers are expected to take paycuts quietly for the benefit of everyone else. It is very sad that teachers are not valued or respected in this country. It is a wonder that they keep doing it with out support from the public.

Sorry, it just really irks me when the teachers are made out as greedy bad guys. We can't even afford to eat out, travel , buy anything but used furniture and clothing, fix our car etc... we are scraping by and every year we are expected to take another cut or maybe get laid off. It would be really nice if people could back the teachers the way they do with other labor groups.

I don't know if this particular tax is the answer but please direct your anger at someone besides the teachers. I do like the idea of taxing corporations! Privatizing will be a big mistake.

Not a teacher hater 27.Jan.2006 09:35


Why are we called teacher haters- those of us who just don't have the money to be taxed anymore. Sorry. If the money were there I wouldn't have a problem with how the schools spend their money. Although the huge amount of money spent on that stupid CIM/CAM/benchmark program was idiotic. I think teaching would be a horrible job and I do feel sorry for the teachers. But sorry still doesn't make the money suddenly appear in our bank accounts.

No to City Income Tax 27.Jan.2006 11:09

Robert Ted Hinds Hinds4Portland@netscape.net

As a candidate for City Council, I will weigh in here by saying I will not support the proposed city income tax. HERE IS WHY...

1) Voters overwhelmingly supported the Multnomah County ITAX as a temporary funding measure to keep schools operating for three years. It was implied that this time would be used to resolve school funding problems. Once again, our elected officials came up with a short term fix and sat on their hands. Replacing one tax with another is not what voters approved the ITAX for three years ago.

2) While schools were constantly threatened with closure, every member of City Council voted for highly speculative projects that benefit big business, like the Portland Aerial Tram at South Waterfront. City Council accepted cost estimates from an unproven development company of $15.5 million without a detailed budget. The estimate they were given excluded obvious details like engineering and architect fees (?!). Randy Leonard believes the actual cost may reach $100 million. Erik Sten's infamous Water Bureau billing fiasco has already cost the city over $40 million and will require at least (according to Dan Saltzman) an additional $25 million to replace the failed Sten system. Now the City is ramping up to replace the downtown transit system on 5th and 6th streets with a "ballet" of buses, cars, and light rails that was schemed up back in the 90's by Vera Katz. Just those three blunders have/will cost Portland taxpayers a quarter of a BILLION dollars!

3) Testimony from taxpayers and County insiders paint a picture of a disfunctional and costly beaurocracy that was thrown together to manage the ITAX revenue.

I support Portland teachers and I supported the ITAX in order to keep our schools open, but more quick-fix taxes are NOT what our citizens need. What we need is competent elected officials who can get their priorities straight down at City Hall. Why don't they ask taxpayers to approve a City income tax to pay for the aerial tram instead?

I support funding, just not these band-aids 27.Jan.2006 11:15

No more band-aids

I fully support more funding for our schools. I don't think anyone can seriously say argue that they have too much money right now -- especially when our state is right near the bottom of $ spent per pupil. Yes, there are probably ways to save on certain costs, but that's not the largest problem. Adequate funding is.

Look at the states with the best schools -- Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Vermont. What do they have in common? A hell of a lot more money spent per student.

So yes, I think we should spend a lot more money on schooling. It's either pay now, or we pay later. Students who don't get decent educations, tend to make less money = less taxes paid = less money for all of the other services we want in our communities/state.

What I'm sick and tired of though, is the band-aid approaches to stem the bleeding. A 1% local tax is going to do nothing to remedy this HUGE problem. At the best it will save a few teachers, etc. in the short run. Is that what we want to do? How about we let the schools shut down and make our elected officials actually FIX THE PROBLEM???

There are plenty of good ideas out there. Look at how other states successfully do it. Oregon will never be any better unless we have a great public school system.

To all the sick and tired... 28.Jan.2006 12:54

Pravda or Consequences

Please channel your frustrations towards the decision makers.

And be ready to come up with a DOABLE plan that properly funds all of our children. If you can't, then band-aids is all that is going to occur and the quality of our children to think for themselves is in part the result of an educational system that psychologically motivates and materially prepares them for the incredible challenges before them. Be completely honest, do you want a new workforce that can become self-sufficient and big-picture thinking or ends up feeling for no one except themselves?

Whining like this does nothing but create bad feelings when rational thinking is needed. Talk about a model for the young.

Ignorance is not bliss, it is slavery.

A Vote for the Disappointed (Again) 30.Jan.2006 03:40

Stacy W stopitax@yahoo.com

A Vote for the Disappointed (Again) I have owned a small business in Portland for 11 years. When I wake up each day and sit down to figure out what we are taking in and what is going out we budget accordingly. If we don't have the revenue to purchase something then we don't get it! It's a matter of checks and balances and every family in America is a "small business" in its own right with someone bringing home the positive cash flow and making sure they don't go negative. If they don't have the money, they don't get the service it's that simple. If I can't afford to buy a wide screen TV then I don't get one. What's the problem with Portland's picture? Well for starters we have" Hired" city officials that prey on Portlanders by telling them that there kids will lose out on education and scare those by saying essential services will be lost. The only essential services that should be lost are those who promise and don't deliver. What we are really losing are Portlanders leaving MC and tax revenue from outside companies that don't have the confidence in our city officials to provide an acceptable place for growth, education and livability for the families it brings. If I ran my company the way Portland does I would be out of business! We "hire" city officials who are supposed to be qualified to run our city; if a company manager doesn't perform at his or her job they get fired. If my company doesn't perform we lose the business. We don't promise over and over it will get better, who in the "you know what" who'd buy such a service? It seems that I can feed, educate and cloth the children in a 3rd would country for far less than I'm paying for my own kids and I'm sure they get a better education than the kids that are educational system turns out now. If you're a teacher reading this and you're getting mad at me, tough. We pay your salary to do a job (Do It). These kids are brain dead, cant read, have no work ethic and you want us to keep paying, get real. I don't even want to hire anyone that's between 16 and 30, these kids are lost. Sad but very true, and if you are saying "what a terrible thing to say" then look at today's youth and then read what I wrote again as a refresher. The public school system in the next 20 years is going to be a place for the poor and the "have-nots" who don't have the money or option to get a better education. I for one will not put my kids in the public schools system-EVER! The only guarantee I will have is that they will come home uneducated and unprepared for the real world. The butter is going to separate from the cream plain and simple. In the real world it's called healthy completion not complacency and retirement packages while we just push your kid from grade to grade. We need to give families the right to an education they have paid for and deserve with sweat equity not (oh were out of money again-for the third time but we promise this tax is only (never going to go away). Please note that 7 years is not a temporary tax, remember in school folks we round up after 5 that would now be called almost a decade. Portlanders fed the stray cat for 3 years and now they want to keep eating. Its time to get rid of the cat. I think we need to trim the fat give parents the money and option to put there kids whatever school will give them a better education. We need to make these teachers earn their money in stead of waiting to retire in Aruba while my kid can't spell his name when he or she graduates high school only to find out that his or her best grade was in how to use an "Ipod while I taught my class... This is a business, the business of educating our children the ones who are going to vote on your future. Be very scared because it looks really grim and you all know it. The leaders that founded this country were mavericks not politically tied to the next big election. We need people who are going to take risks, and move against the status quo not keep it there. If you fail, at least you tried something new with my hard earned money. Let's face it; it isn't getting better, is it? The only difference between street panhandlers and city officials is that street people are honest about what there going to do with my hard earned money. Frankly I am not surprised at the eagerness of people either moving to Portland or already living in Multnomah county to move to Washington county / Vancouver. We are not paying attention to what pays for the schools," Small business" and hard working people "that already pay taxes" HELLO!. We, like many families and small business have now left MC. During the course of selling are home our realtor noted all the people not even interested in looking because we were located in MC as they would have to foot the extra tax. Now I'm not a rocket science major but I do know that sooner or later people are going to leave (and they already are) and tax revenue will go right along with it. The businesses will not move here and schools will get worse because there will be a shortened tax base, its basic psychology. If I make 1 million in MC a year I pay an extra 10,000 on top of what I already have to pay. Now why in the Sam tar nation would I pay the extra tax for a 3rd time when they could get it figured out the first 2 times. Why have ailing schools and higher taxes when I can move across the county line/state line and enjoy the equivalent of 5 major vacations for my family and a better education so that my kids when they are of age to vote are educated to pick wise leaders. This tax that you voted is NEVER going away face it you opend your own Pandora's Box. Why would any company or family move to MC bring its employees or kids to a community that has ailing schools and heightened taxation? They won't! Hence why we left and went west to WC. Frankly we need to start over with the school system, parents need to parent and teachers need to be motivated to teach, not be child day care specialists for parents who are chasing the American dream of "Buying More Crap" keeping up with the joneses so they can eventually end up in therapy because they didn't prioritize there kids in the first place. Let's pay attention people, it's our children, it's our money and it's our future. If you want change then get off your ass and pay attention, get involved and start using that great education you got from your local school district with all the extra cash you spent! When civilized people aren't educated they are easier to control. An old adage we all know, FOOL ME ONCE, SHAME ON YOU! FOOL ME TWICE, SHAME ON ME! Fool me 3 times and you'll see that the school system failed us all. Signed Unacceptable (Grade F)