Wording of tax measure draws criticism

Bickering continues about how the Legislature’s tax increases will be described on the ballot if opponents succeed in forcing an election.

Those against the tax measure have asked Secretary of State Bill Bradbury to reconsider the official ballot summary for the measure. They say the wording, drafted by Attorney General Hardy Myers, should not refer to budget cuts because the bill itself does not make cuts.

Also, tax foes and a union that supports the taxes want changes in the proposed explanation that would appear in the state voters pamphlet should the measure reach the ballot.

Opponents need to collect 50,000 signatures by Nov. 25 to send the tax measure to a Feb. 3 election.

Russ Walker, Oregon director of Citizens for a Sound Economy and a leader of the referendum drive, said Monday that he is “very confident” of succeeding.

The measure, which includes a temporary income tax surcharge, would raise about $800 million to balance the current two-year budget.