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California politicians seeking higher taxes here to deal with the state's
budget problem should look to a vote last Tuesday in neighboring Oregon.
"Voters trounce Measure 30," read the headline of The Oregonian newspaper. The article reported, "Oregonians buried Measure 30, choosing to balance the budget by spending less, not by paying more."
The measure would have raised various taxes by a total of $800 million.
Preliminary figures show it losing 58-42 percent. The defeat was even bigger
than the January 2003 defeat in Oregon of a similar measure by 54 percent to 46 percent.
"Oregon doesn't need more taxes; Oregon needs fiscally responsible leaders,"
Russ Walker of the Citizens for a Sound Economy, which led the anti-tax
campaign in Oregon, told the newspaper. "Hopefully, this time they'll get the message."
Hopefully, perhaps, California tax-increasers also will get the message.
Taxes already are higher here than in Oregon.
According to U.S. Department of Commerce data, based on personal income, California in 2000 had the eighth-highest tax level in the country, compared to Oregon's rank of 38th.
Worse, a Tax Foundation rank of business tax climates found California ranked as the second worst state, with Mississippi on the bottom rung; Oregon ranked at 42nd (meaning ninth best).