What Oregon’s vote means for Michigan

Karen Holcomb-Merrill

Congratulations to our colleagues at the Oregon Center for Public Policy.  Tuesday, Oregon voters approved two tax increases.  The OCPP fought hard for their passage.

As a result of the vote, Oregon will raise income taxes on the top 3 percent of filers and will boost business taxes.  The idea was to ask people who are doing well, even in this economy, to pay a little more.

Like Michigan, Oregon is facing a budget deficit.  The voters had a choice about how that budget gap would be resolved.  Significant cuts to schools, health and human services and public safety could be made.  Or, on the other hand, additional revenue could be raised to avoid those cuts. 

Although Oregon voters had not approved a general tax increase since the 1930s, they voted yesterday to protect important services in their state.  And they provided a model for other states, like Michigan, that face continued budget cuts unless more revenue is available. 

There are some that would say it is virtually impossible to raise taxes during these difficult economic times, but the results in Oregon show otherwise.  Voters do support well thought-out and balanced approaches to addressing pending budget gaps, even when those approaches include a change in taxes.

Congratulations to the voters in Oregon who saw through a well-funded opposition campaign in order to preserve Oregon’s quality of life and to create an economy that works for everyone.  A good message for us all.

— Karen Holcomb-Merrill


2 Responses to What Oregon’s vote means for Michigan

  1. Peter says:

    Interesting, too, that the referendum was put on the ballot by people who wanted to halt the increases, which were passed by the legislature. This shows once again that legislators who vote to increase taxes in a fair manner are NOT “out of touch with the people!”

  2. Joel Welty says:

    Republicans who keep shrilling that “government is not the solution, government is the problem” are finally being squelched by the voters. We need to support government, as Oregon voters did, because we cannot afford the anarchy of always cutting back government’s role in our society.

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