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2012 General Election Ballot Guide: Oregon

ORTX

Statewide Measures

  • (+) Voters will decide on Measure 79, which would amend the State Constitution to ban real estate transfer taxes. Currently, the State Legislature has the authority to impose these taxes.
  • ( - ) Measure 82 would amend the Constitution to allow privately owned casi- nos to operate in the State and requires these casinos to pay a 25 percent  tax on revenues. NTU takes no position on the matter of gambling; this measure is included in NTU’s guide solely because of its considerable rev- enue-raising impact.
  • ( - ) If voters approve Measure 82 to allow casinos to operate in the State, Measure 83 would allow the creation of a specific casino in Multnomah County. Again, NTU takes no position on the matter of gambling.
  • (+) Taxpayers will vote on Measure 84, which would phase out estate and inheritance taxes, saving taxpayers $132 million through 2016 and approximately $120 million per year after that, depending on real estate growth.
  • ( - ) Voters will also decide on Measure 85, which eliminates tax refunds or “kickers” for corporation income and excise taxes. Essentially, this is a tax increase on corporations (which could be passed along to consumers, workers, or shareholders) to fund public education. Had this measure been implemented during the past ten budget periods, this would have resulted in up to $203 million in tax hikes per year.

Benton County

Countywide Measures

  • Voters will decide on a property tax renewal that would impose a 90 cents per $1,000 of valuation rate for 5 years for public safety.

Clackamas County

Local Measures

  • ( - ) Voters in Gladstone will decide on a $1 million debt increase to build a new library.

Clatsop County

Local Measures

  • ( - ) Voters in Seaside will decide on a $215,000 property tax increase for fire equipment and personnel costs.

Douglas County

Local Measures

  • ( - ) Voters will decide on a $3.29 million property tax hike to equip the Tri-City District Fire Station.

Jackson County

Local Measures

  • Ashland City voters will decide on the property tax renewal to fund enhanced library services. The tax rate would remain 21 cents per $1,000 of valuation.
  • ( - ) Voters will decide on a $1.8 million debt increase for the purchase of fire trucks and equipment for the Phoenix, Talent, and Ashland sta- tions. This would result in a property tax hike of 14 cents per $1,000 of valuation.
  • ( - ) In response to the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court ruling, voters will decide on the Ashland City Natural Persons Amendment which would declare that corporations do not have constitutional rights and would seek to limit corporate political contributions. Citizen activists are concerned that weakening the ability of businesses to participate in the political process could deprive the fiscal policy debate of important views and thereby give an unfair advantage to those with agendas to expand government.
  • ( - ) Medford City voters will decide on a $14.5 million debt increase that would result in a property tax increase. The revenue would go toward the construction of pools at Hawthorne Park and Jackson Park.
  • ( - ) Rogue River City taxpayers will vote on a $1.6 million debt increase to maintain streets.

Jefferson County

Countywide Measures

  • ( - ) Voters will decide on a 5-year property tax increase of 40 cents per $1,000 of assessed value for the Madras Aquatic Center.

Lane County

Local Measures

  • ( - ) Voters in the Bethel School District will decide on a $49.5 million debt increase that would extend the property tax rate to replace two ele- mentary schools.

Lincoln County

Countywide Measures

  • ( - ) Voters will decide on the creation of an animal control district that would necessitate a property tax hike of 11 cents per $1,000 of assessed  valuation.
  • ( - ) Lincoln County taxpayers will decide on a 3 percent property tax hike to fund the Children’s Trust.
  • ( - ) In response to the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court ruling, voters will decide on an advisory measure that would declare that corpora- tions do not have constitutional rights and would seek to limit corporate political contributions. Citizen activists are concerned that weak- ening the ability of businesses to participate in the political process could deprive the fiscal policy debate of important views and thereby give an unfair advantage to those with agendas to expand government.

Local Measures

  • Voters in Yachats will vote on the property tax renewal of 61 cents per $1,000 of valuation for 5 years for emergency services.
  • Taxpayers in the Seal Rock Rural Fire District will vote on a property tax renewal of 20 cents per $1,000 of assessed value for 5 years to keep a full  time fire chief.
  • ( )  The Yachats City Property Amendment would eliminate the require- ment to seek taxpayers approval for the purchase or sale of property by the City.  While removing citizens from important decisions is gen- erally inadvisable, the impact this measure would ultimately have on taxpayers is unclear.

Multnomah County

Countywide Measures

  • ( - ) Voters will decide on the creation of a new taxing district to fund County libraries. The property tax rate for this district would be $1.22 per $1,000 of valuation.

Local Measures

  • ( - ) Portland taxpayers will decide on the creation of the Arts Tax which would require every resident over the poverty line and the age of 18 to pay an additional income tax of $35 per year.
  • ( - ) Portland is seeking to increase debt by $482 million for school improvements. Taxpayers would face an additional property tax of $1.10 per $1,000 of valuation.
  • ( + ) Voters in Portland will decide on the Fire and Police Retirement Amendment, which would alter retirement benefits and save taxpayers $46.6 million over 25 years.
  • ( - ) Lake Oswego voters will decide on a $14 million debt increase to build a new library.
  • ( - ) Lake Oswego taxpayers will vote on a $5 million debt increase to improve Boones Ferry Road.