SALEM — If you’re looking for answers about the tax increase on the Feb. 3 ballot, you’ll be able to read all about it — including 75 arguments for and against the measure — in the state Voters’ Pamphlet that was sent to post offices on Tuesday.
The pamphlets — which officials say should reach most Oregon households by Friday — contain the official text of Measure 30 and as well as 55 arguments for the tax increase and 20 against.
The measure would raise $800 million, mostly by temporarily boosting income taxes, to balance the current two-year state budget.
After the Legislature passed the tax measure in August, foes gathered enough referendum petition signatures to block the increases and force a special election on the issue.
Ballots for the election will be mailed starting Jan. 16.
The state Libertarian Party, which opposes the tax increase, contends there’s plenty of fat that can be cut out of state spending without raising taxes.
“Despite what you hear, waste is everywhere,” says an argument filed by the Libertarian Party.
Citizens for a Sound Economy, a national organization that opposes higher taxes, helped get Measure 30 on the ballot.
That group along with the Libertarians argue that a tax increase would be bad for business.
Disagreeing with that assessment is an argument in the Voters’ Pamphlet from Gweneth van Frank Carlson, spokeswoman for Support Oregon Services Alliance.
She said “studies prove businesses base location choice on quality of life, not tax burden.”
She also argues that Citizens for a Sound Economy is “working to use Oregon as an example for their national agenda.”
In addition to being sent in the mail, the Voters’ Pamphlet for the Feb. 3 referendum also will be available online at www.sos.state.or.us.
Secretary of State Bill Bradbury says his office saved about $21,000 on the book’s estimated $230,000 cost by reducing unused white space.
Bradbury will have to seek funds from the Legislative Emergency Board to pay the bill because lawmakers failed to include money in his budget for costs of pamphlets, said Bradbury spokeswoman Anne Martens.
The money cut was tied to a controversy over a Bradbury proposal to sharply increase advertising rates for space to reduce taxpayers’ share of expenses for the pamphlet that has been published for 100 years.
Revenue from sale of space in the guide to candidates and measures covers about 25 percent of costs.
The Emergency Board last fall gave Bradbury $373,000 to produce a pamphlet for the May primary election, but a decision hasn’t been made on funding the publication for the November general election.
Funds for the Measure 30 pamphlet weren’t dealt with then because the board met before it was known whether the referendum petition drive would succeed.