Month: December 2009

Tax Policy and the Oregon Economy:The Effects of Measures 66 and 67

Eric FruitsRandall Pozdena

by Eric Fruits, Ph.D. and Randall Pozdena, Ph.D.
Click here to read the full report in PDF format

Introduction: This report measures the likely effects of recent, proposed tax rate increases on households and corporations in Oregon. It examines the effect of these policies on job growth in the state, and the migration of taxpayers and their income. The tax policies examined are those passed by the Oregon legislature in 2009. The Legislature passed two bills affecting, respectively, personal and corporate tax policy. These bills are subject to a referendum in January 2010 and thus are known by their ballot measure numbers: Measure 66 and Measure 67.

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Cell Phone Mismanagement Costs Oregon Taxpayers at Least $588,000

Jacob SzetoFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Jacob Szeto
T: 503.242.0900
F: 503.242.3822

A recent report by the Oregon Secretary of State Audit Division questions the efficiency of state cell phone use. Of $3.1 million charged to the state for cell phones, the report found $588,000 of waste during a one-year period for unused and overused cell phones.

According to the report, “Charges did not appear consistent with efficient business….[I]mproved practices would result in cost savings.”

Included in the audit data were all state agencies, state boards and commissions, public universities, OHSU and the SAIF Corporation. The Department of Administrative Services (DAS) has contracted AT&T, Sprint and Verizon as cell phone vendors for these agencies. For the purpose of identifying problem areas and recommendations the audit reviewed three agencies in detail: the Department of Human Services (DHS), the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Department of Corrections (DOC.) (more…)

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Paying a “Climate Debt”? Plans for Global Wealth Redistribution

Todd Wynn
QuickPoint!

[audio:QuickPoint 12-23-09.mp3] Click the play button to hear the audio commentary

 

This month, Senator John Kerry introduced the International Climate Change Investment Act of 2009, which is intended to “fund efforts to reduce deforestation, deploy clean energy technologies, and increase adaptation capacity in developing countries.” In addition, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced that the United States would contribute to a climate change fund amounting to $100 billion a year by 2020. Apparently based on dubious assumptions of higher global temperatures by 2100, politicians on the federal level are aiming to hand over a significant sum of money from hard-working Americans to developing countries. (more…)

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Climate Change Alarmists in Hot Water

Todd WynnCascade Commentary

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Summary: We are told that the earth is the hottest it has been in thousands of years and humans are to blame. But what if the science behind climate change was exaggerated? What if temperature records have been manipulated or cherry-picked? What if climate scientists are unsure about past temperature history? It appears that this is the case. (more…)

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Water Storage Can Provide Many Benefits

 Karla Kay Edwards
QuickPoint!

[audio:QuickPoint 12-16-09.mp3] Click the play button to hear the audio commentary

Water is the lifeblood of the Oregon economy.  Whether it’s the water that turns the turbines to generate clean and cheap energy, acts as the essential nutrient for agricultural commodities, or provides a multitude of recreational opportunities and environmental essentials— water is needed for every aspect of our lives and economy.  Yet, Oregon continues to pass bills like HB 3369 which allowed one storage project to move forward while creating huge hurdles for any new proposed projects to clear. This can lead to the stifling of opportunities to store water at favorable times and create efficiencies within various water uses. (more…)

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Testimony of John A. Charles, Jr.Before the Oregon State Land BoardRegarding The Elliott State ForestDecember 8, 2009

John A. Charles, Jr.Cascade Commentary

My name is John Charles, and I am President of Cascade Policy Institute. I am here to urge the Board to sell or lease the Elliott State Forest.

Read the entire testimony and the analysis, Future mangement of the Elliott State Forest, Providing Adequate Returns for Oregon’s Schools.

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Taking the Wider View on Tax Increases

Steve BucksteinQuickPoint!

Beware the common wisdom about who might support and who might oppose the new taxes proposed in Measures 66 and 67.

When asked to make the “No new taxes” case to the board of directors of a Portland-based non-profit that provides services to disabled Oregonians, I was skeptical that anything I could say would cause them to oppose the measures. After all, they are funded in large part by government grants; and the people for whom they advocate are often dependent on government programs, some of which might be threatened if the new taxes are defeated. (more…)

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Counties Should Rezone Rural Land

Karla Kay EdwardsCascade Commentary

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Summary: HB 2229 will allow counties throughout the state to take a fresh look at their designation of agriculture and forestry lands. Before that happens, there needs to be further consideration of all the elements needed for commercial agriculture and forestry to be viable. Soil type is not the only thing upon which to base a land designation. (more…)

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Taxing Work

Christina MartinQuickPoint!

[audio:QuickPoint 12-2-09.mp3]
Click the play button to hear the audio commentary

This January, a hidden tax increase will penalize almost every employee and employer in Oregon. Due to the recent high unemployment rate, State payroll taxes, which fund the unemployment insurance system, will increase from an average of 1.97% of base wages to 2.76%. In other words, assuming you make at least *$32,100 (before taxes), your employer will have to pay an additional $269, for a total of $886 next year. Over time, higher payroll taxes may make Oregon’s economy worse. (more…)

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Government Health Care “Reform:” The Culmination of Incrementalism

Cascade Commentary

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The opening words of HR 3200, the initial solution to the health care “crisis” in the United States, read: “A Bill to provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans and reduce the growth in health care spending, and for other purposes.” I haven’t yet heard President Obama or Congressional leaders comment on those “other purposes.” However, let us be completely honest here. The only words in that opening statement that have real meaning are those last four words. (more…)

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