Write to Governor Kulongoski
Cut growth subsidies, not education or social services!
Now that Measure 30 has failed at the polls, Governor Kulongoski is preparing to enact a series of budget cuts to education and social services. The sad part of this is that if the State weren't subsidizing growth to the tune of $1 billion a year, he wouldn't have to!
We've drafted two letters:
- A short letter to send from Governor Kulongoski's website.
- A longer letter to mail to the Governor or adapt for a letter to the editor.
Why cut education and social services? End subsidies to growth, and use those revenues for programs for children, elderly, and sick. Nurture local economic problem solving and watch Oregon's economy grow.
Reduce state business tax breaks by 25 per cent and raise $3.1 billion. Cap income tax breaks at one-third present levels and raise another $1.7 billion. Eliminate the $40-$80,000 local "sprawl subsidy" for each new house built in an Oregon community and raise more billions.
"Tax breaks" and "sprawl subsidies" get us nowhere. Save billions and nurture local community self-reliance. Challenge communities to creatively analyze their economies and find solutions that fit. "Going local" diversifies Oregon's economic base and insulates it from economic cycles.
It all depends on how you cut. Cut one way and support efficient localized economic growth. Cut the other way and continue business as usual and increasing levels of population, consumption and pollution.
Send to Governor Kulongoski
There is no need for you to "juggle" anything. We need to fund those programs that provide the most safety, security, education and health benefits to the greatest number of taxpayers. Directing public funds to benefit the public builds a society and its economy from the bottom up.
We can't rely on subsidizing business as usual. There is little proof that business tax breaks create jobs. A simple 25% reduction in all state tax breaks to business would raise $3.1 billion for the state, schools and local government. Capping income tax breaks at 33 cents on the dollar would recover another $1.7 billion. (Oregon Reveneue Coalition)
Added to the tax breaks are the subsidies we pay the real estate industry to cover our landscape with their sprawl. Each new house built in an Oregon community requires from $40,000 to $83,000 in publicly funded services (ex. schools, police and fire services, libraries and much more). If Oregon communities want to keep service levels up they must go into debt to pay these costs. At a very low 1.9%, a $1 million, 20-year bond requires over $9 million to repay it. Property tax limitations (ex. Measures 5,47 and 50) make it difficult for communities to raise taxes to payoff these bonds. Tomorrow's classrooms and the increased public services new growth requires are not getting funded.
There is a better alternative to "trickle down" economics and subsidies. We can use a fraction of what it's costing us to subsidize economic development that stimulates increasing levels of population and consumption and nurture community self reliance. So called "going local" liberates communities from the uncertainties of single-employer economies; diversifies and helps insulate communities from international and national economic cycles; scales economic activity more appropriately to a specific location; reduces economic growth that depends on increasing levels of population and consumption; increases the level of community social interaction; increases local control; increases the local "multiplier effect" as more dollars re-circulate within a community and much more.
There are more practical things for you to do than juggle.
Mail to Governor Kulongoski:
160 State Capitol
900 Court Street
Salem, OR 97301-4047