Month: August 2006

Re-arranging Deck Chairs on the Housing Titanic

John A. Charles, Jr.QuickPoint!

The Portland City Council wants to spend at least 30% of all urban renewal dollars on housing subsidies. Their concern is that skyrocketing home prices have made it difficult for lower-income families to live in the city.

Unfortunately, Council members are boxed in by (more…)

Read Blog Detail

Tobacco Revenues Prove Addictive

Oregon Economic Opportunity Project

Preface

In 1765, the British Parliament passed the Stamp Act, taxing every sheet of printed paper used in the American colonies. The proceeds were to be used to help pay the rising cost of stationing thousands of British troops on the Appalachian frontier to defend the colonies. Many colonists found this tax to be outrageous not because of its economic cost (which was small), but because it was explicitly being used by England to raise revenues without the approval of the colonies. The resulting opposition to the Stamp Act was so great that a year later, the tax was repealed.

Like the Stamp Act, revenues from Oregon’s cigarette tax (more…)

Read Blog Detail

Big Money doesn’t help Small Schools

Steve BucksteinQuickPoint!

The biggest private foundation in the world is pouring millions of dollars into creating some of America’s smallest high schools. Grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are being used in Oregon and around the country to break up large high schools, creating small schools-within-schools designed to improve student learning.

The small schools concept seems sound, but it now appears that (more…)

Read Blog Detail

Taxing Oregon’s Tourists

Oregon Economic Opportunity Project

Summary

Oregon state and local governments levy over $268 million a year in lodging taxes, supposedly to benefit tourism and economic development. The unseen costs of such taxes, which include deterring tourists from visiting high-tax areas, and the arguable unconstitutionality of such “forced speech” levies should be reasons enough to repeal them. Private businesses and tourism organizations have great incentives to promote tourism themselves, and they will likely do a better job than government agencies if allowed to do so. (more…)

Read Blog Detail

An Inconvenient Poll

John A. Charles, Jr.QuickPoint!

According to a recent poll commissioned by several environmental groups, only two percent of Oregonians think that auto emissions are the greatest environmental issue facing Oregon today. They correctly understand that automobile pollution has been steadily falling for decades.

Yet the governor’s Environmental Quality Commission recently adopted (more…)

Read Blog Detail

Oregon’s New Umbrella: The Rainy Day Amendment

Steve BucksteinCascade Commentary

Summary

The Rainy Day Amendment responds to the fact that Oregon’s state budget grew twice as fast as population and inflation over the past ten years. It offers the best features of the Colorado spending limitation, which led to strong economic growth during the boom, while avoiding the worst features that kept Colorado from easily adjusting to the bust. (more…)

Read Blog Detail

Oregon’s New Umbrella: The Rainy Day amendment

Steve BucksteinQuickPoint!

What if Oregon could enjoy the fastest economic growth of any state over the next five years? What if, over the next two years, Oregon could build a rainy day fund in excess of $2 billion to help cushion inevitable future economic downturns?

The first scenario is what actually happened in Colorado from (more…)

Read Blog Detail

Open Primary, Closed Doors

QuickPoint!

Lately there has been much talk in political circles about the proposed ballot measure which would create an Open Primary in Oregon.

In this era of gerrymandered legislative districts, low voter turn-out, and growing numbers of unaffiliated voters, one can see why (more…)

Read Blog Detail