- Days left
Oregon measuress 66 and 67 special voteI didn't need any time for deliberation when I received my ballot for this month's special state vote in Oregon: I filled in the bubbles for "yes," as did a majority of voters, next to Measures 66 and 67 and took it with all speediness to the nearest library drop-off. Measure 66 raises taxes on individuals making more than $125,000 (and couples making more than $250,000)
For the next few weeks, I listened as the two sides spent millions and made more and more melodramatic advertisements. My favorite: three employees of a coffee shop mourn how they're shutting down due to the new taxes in Measure 67; which would only be $150, up from the previous $10 minimum, unless the business was making a substantial profit or over $500,000 in revenue (and then, the business pays a minimum tax of 0.1% of revenue, or $500 on $500,000). I tried to envision the scenario in which a coffee shop would have to close over a tax of either $150 or $500. Couldn't they just cut back on soy creamer? I thought to myself.

But the fact that I, like 54% of the voting electoral populate, decided on Jan. 26th to raise taxes in a bad economy sets us up as the radical trendsetters for the nation. Never mind that the "Yes" campaign spent a few million more than the "No" campaign; never mind that, without the $727 million legislators expect the measures will raise, teachers at public schools and community colleges will lose their jobs, class days will be cut, and social services will be reduced. This is the first tax increase passed in Oregon since 1930. Pundits are saying that "Oregon is a ... bellwether state" and this is a key shift in the "narrative" of the country. In other words: we're not going to continue the belief that rich getting richer is the best possible way for all we serfs to continue to enjoy our crumbs.

"There's been something of a populist reaction to those perceived to be responsible," said political analyst Bill Lunch, recalling the recent election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts. "Here, the reaction is against the affluent and businesses." In the Wall Street Journal, Joel Millman writes that the "ballot measures also served as a gauge of anti-business populism and highlighted a nationwide debate over whether to fix state budgets by targeting the affluent."

Are we crazy? Is this a token of an upcoming swing in our national attitude toward businesses and the people who start, and run them? Or is this just the messy result of a liberal-leaning passel of voters and a bloody, expensive campaign? Either way, Oregonians have told the rich: pay up. And, come April, they'll have to put their hands in the pockets of their tailored suits and fork over the cash.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

What is Inflation?

Why do prices go up?

View Course »

Economics 101

Intro to economics. But fun.

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

Are You Exempt From Health Care Coverage?

The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is an individual mandate that requires all eligible Americans to have some form of basic health coverage by 2014. Those without insurance will receive a penalty when they file their tax returns ? that is, unless they have an exemption. TurboTax's Exemption Check can help you find out whether or not you qualify for an exemption.

Essential Tax Forms for the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also referred to as Obamacare, affects how millions of Americans will prepare their taxes in the new year. The law now includes penalties for all who haven?t obtained health insurance -- and those penalties are expected to be paid at tax time. The ACA also provides tax credits to help people pay for insurance, and you can claim those credits when you file your taxes. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has introduced a number of tax forms to accommodate the ACA.

Mortgage Refinance Tax Deductions

When refinancing a mortgage to get a lower interest rate or obtain more favorable loan terms, you're really just taking out a new loan and using the money to pay off your existing home loan. In general, the same tax deductions are available when you're refinancing a mortgage as when you're taking out a mortgage to buy a home.

How to Determine if You Have Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC)

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, requires most Americans to have health insurance that meets a government standard known as "minimum essential coverage," or MEC. Whether your insurance qualifies as MEC depends not on the plan itself, but on how you obtained your coverage.

Rental Property Deductions You Can Take at Tax Time

Rental property often offers larger deductions and tax benefits than most investments. Many of these are overlooked by landlords at tax time. This can make a difference in making a profit or losing money on your real estate venture. If you own a rental property, the IRS allows you to deduct expenses you pay for the upkeep and maintenance of the property, conserving and managing the property, and other expenses deemed necessary and associated with property rental.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum