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Walker burnishes credentials as new anti-tax chief
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Walker burnishes credentials as new anti-tax chief

BY BRAD CAIN

Russ Walker has spent the past few days recuperating from bronchitis and from an election campaign that led to the crushing defeat of an $800 million tax hike on Tuesday's ballot. The convalescence has given Walker some time to reflect on his new role as the leader of Oregon's anti-tax movement — a position that's been vacant since the political demise of Bill Sizemore. Walker, head of the Oregon chapter of Citizens for a Sound Economy, was instrumental in putting together the signature-gathering effort and campaign that led to the drubbing of the tax plan.

02/07/2004
Governor directs agencies to find ways to soften spending cuts
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Governor directs agencies to find ways to soften spending cuts

BY CHARLES E. BEGGS

Gov. Ted Kulongoski directed state agencies Wednesday to seek ways to protect vital services after voters rejected an $800 million tax increase, but said major spending cuts will have to be implemented. "There will be loss of essential programs," including lopping about 50,000 low-income people from the state health plan, he said. "There will be drastic consequences to some citizens," the Democrat said. The proposed tax hike failed 59 percent to 41 percent. Rejection of the tax package automatically triggers $544 million in spending cuts on May 1.

02/04/2004
Oregon soundly defeats tax increase, triggering cuts to services
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Oregon soundly defeats tax increase, triggering cuts to services

BY Brad Cain

PORTLAND, Ore. - Oregon voters resoundingly rejected a proposed $800 million tax hike, turning aside warnings about looming state budget cuts for schools and other key services. With 95 percent of precincts reporting early Wednesday, the measure was failing 59 percent to 41 percent. Rejection of the tax package automatically triggers $544 million in spending cuts on May 1. Political analyst Jim Moore said the vote showed that Oregonians weren't swayed by warnings that schools and other services would suffer big cuts without the tax increase.

02/04/2004
Oregon gov says painful spending cuts now inevitable
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Oregon gov says painful spending cuts now inevitable

BY Charles E. Beggs

SALEM, Ore. - Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski directed state agencies Wednesday to seek ways to protect vital services after voters rejected an $800 million tax increase, but said painful spending cuts are inevitable. "There will be loss of essential programs," including lopping about 50,000 low-income people from the state health plan, he said. "There will be drastic consequences to some citizens," the Democrat said. The proposed tax hike failed 59 percent to 41 percent. Rejection automatically triggers $544 million in spending cuts on May 1.

02/04/2004
Oregonians vote on a tax increase
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Oregonians vote on a tax increase

BY BRAD CAIN

With state government desperate for additional revenue, Oregonians voted for a second time in just over a year Tuesday on a state tax increase. The stakes were high. If the Measure 30 tax hike is rejected, as last year's tax plan was, schools and social welfare programs that are still reeling from earlier funding cuts will once again take a big hit. ___ The Legislature narrowly passed the $800 million tax package last August in a bid to balance the state budget without inflicting even more pain on schools, welfare programs and law enforcement.

02/03/2004
One year after nixing one tax hike, tax-allergic Oregonians are voting on another one
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One year after nixing one tax hike, tax-allergic Oregonians are voting on another one

BY CHARLES E. BEGGS

One year after they voted down one tax hike, Oregonians have again been facing a decision on whether to raise their taxes by $800 million to avert sharp cuts in state funding for schools, the needy and law enforcement. Ballots in Oregon's unique vote-by-mail system will be counted Tuesday. Voter rejection of the Measure 30 tax package would automatically trigger $544 million in spending cuts, putting even more of a squeeze on a state that has become known for incessant budget turmoil.

01/31/2004
Tax foe claims governor finds big budget savings
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Tax foe claims governor finds big budget savings

The leading opponent of the income tax increase on Tuesday's ballot claims Gov. Ted Kulongoski has found $500 million in the current budget to save state programs if the tax measure fails. Russ Walker, Oregon director of Citizens for a Sound Economy, said he doesn't have hard evidence to prove the money exists, but he told KXL, a Portland radio station, that a source in the Legislature gave him the information. He did not name the source. Kulongoski spokeswoman Mary Ellen Glynn said there's no such extra money in the budget.

01/30/2004
Tax backers raise $529,000 in uphill fight
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Tax backers raise $529,000 in uphill fight

BY BRAD CAIN

Supporters of the Measure 30 tax hike have raised nearly $530,000 for their campaign to persuade Oregon voters to approve higher taxes to avert state budget cuts. Meanwhile, tax foes who earlier raised $600,000 for the signature drive that forced the tax election said they have collected less than $200,000 for the campaign — and don't plan to raise much more than that. With polls showing the tax hike drawing opposition from a majority of voters, anti-tax leader Russ Walker said, "we're not going to spend money if we don't think we need to."

01/23/2004
Ballots going out for tax hike referendum
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Ballots going out for tax hike referendum

BY BRAD CAIN

With the ballots soon to arrive in voters' mailboxes, the "Yes on 30" campaign has begun running radio ads urging Oregonians to approve the Legislature's $800 million tax hike. The ad features the voice of a Hillsboro woman, Susan Hoffman, whose three sons attend Hillsboro public schools, where the school year was shortened by 17 days last year because of budget cuts. "We've lost great teachers, our classes are getting even bigger, and now we're faced with even more cuts," Hoffman says in the ad.

01/16/2004
Kitzhaber, Atiyeh stump for Measure 30
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Kitzhaber, Atiyeh stump for Measure 30

BY FAWN PORTER

Two former Oregon governors, one a Democrat and one a Republican, joined together Monday to support a temporary tax increase that voters will consider this February. Former Govs. John Kitzhaber, a Democrat, and Vic Atiyeh, a Republican, said that social services, health care and education will suffer if the increase, known as Measure 30, is defeated. Measure 30 is the $800 million revenue package designed to balance the state budget and avoid further cuts to education, human services and public safety. It will go to voters on Feb. 3.

01/12/2004

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