Don McIntire: Deja Vu All Over Again

Chuck Sheketoff

Remember Ballot Measure 5? In 1990, Don McIntire said no "essential local services will be curtailed." He said it would not create tax "breaks for big business." He said it was a "logical step toward fairness and a stable funding system for schools." He said "all Oregonians win" if it passed.*

Don's back with the same old trick. He's spinning and hawking Initiative Petition (IP) 6, which would create a Colorado-like arbitary spending limit scheme known as TABOR (standing for "taxpayer bill of rights" and the name of a famous Colorado mining family). And the lies and false promises continue.

He's promising that schools, seniors, health care, transportation, public safety and other public services can grow by population and inflation even in a recession. McIntire's TABOR measure IP 6 is an "Umbrella" for Sale that would soak Oregonians.

McIntire says he's offering Oregonians a "rainy day amendment." That's just plain impossible. It Ain’t No “Rainy Day Amendment”.

Last year, Don McIntire said “Now Colorado has a spending limit that it adopted in 1992. It is the gold standard of spending limits.”** And he said “We used the same standards as Colorado's spending limit – population and inflation.”***

Since voters in Colorado gave TABOR a “failed experiment” stamp of disapproval last November, McIntire has been trying to distance his scheme from the name TABOR and the problems it caused in Colorado. Sorry Don, but IP 6 Quacks Like a TABOR Duck (PDF).

It's the same old Don McIntire who hawked Measure 5. The only difference I can see is that in 1990 he spent $191,000 to pass Measure 5; as of June 1, 2006, he's already raised $184,000 toward IP 6 TABOR, mostly from out of state groups.

Voters beware. Find out more here and here. Defend Oregon. Stay informed.

* Protect Oregon Property Society, Don McIntire, Chair/Spokesperson, advertisement in The Oregonian, Monday, November 5, 1990

** IP 6 chief petitioner Don McIntire at the City Club of Portland, March 18, 2005

*** “McIntire plans for a state spending cap,” Oregonian, April 14, 2005

  • boikin (unverified)

    You don't define TABOR, or McIntire's version. You don't propose an alternative. I'm less informed than I was before.

  • Ross Williams (unverified)

    I'm less informed than I was before.

    I suggest you read the links. There is quite a bit of information in them.

    On the other hand, perhaps a few sources other than OCCP would be useful and one of the links seems to redirect you to the HTML standards web site.

  • Chuck for Governor (unverified)

    Well for a litle more clarity one can go to today's Oregonian editorial. They advise readers to walk away from the petition and site the OCPP for perspective on what life would be like had we a spending limit since 1990.

    All one needs to know about Oregon taxes and spending can be found at the OCPP and on the Oregonian editorial pages (who just happen to site the OCPP today).

    The short version is this.

    Support every single tax increase, oppose every single spending constraint, oppose the kicker, oppose the double majority, oppose the intitiative system and demonize those who would enable Oregonians the opportunity to vote and decide for themselves what to support or oppose.

    There's Chuck's campaign for Governor.

    Or is it Ted Kulongoski's?

  • Patty Wentz, Our Oregon (unverified)

    For more information on TABOR, go to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. <ahref=http:"" ssl-series.htm="">TABOR Page. I strongly suggest that those wanting more information watch the DVD. It backs up Sheketoff's analysis of how the TABOR formula is flawed and also has the voices of Coloradans describing how TABOR hurt their state. Under TABOR their high school graduation rates dropped to 48th in the nation, their kid's health care services became a national disgrace and their job growth lagged behind other mountain states.

    And to "boikin," I strongly suggest reading carefully between the soundbites. As John Singletary, a rancher from Colorado cautions, "Usually, when it looks to good to be true it is too good to be true." That's what's going on with the TABOR ballot measure. There is absolutely nothing in the measure to make the legislature more accountable or ensure that lawmakers follow our priorities. It's a rigid, flawed Constitutional Amendment. That's all it is. And it does nothing to solve the real problems in our state.

  • Patty Wentz, Our Oregon (unverified)

    Dang! Here's the live link: TABOR Page at CBPP.

  • Becky (unverified)

    The real problem with TABOR is it sounds like a simple, common-sense approach. But government funding is anything but simple. You can't apply checkbook-balancing logic to government finance. Over time, this will really hurt.

    That said, I'm grateful for Measure 5 and I believe it really helped most Oregonians. The only problem with it is that we have been unable to add a sales tax and reduce the income tax to create a sound, balanced tax system in this state. In the past, McIntire proposed a "triple nickel" plan - 5% sales tax, 5% income tax, and $5/$1000 AV property tax that seems to me to make a lot of sense, perhaps with some minor tweaks, for getting our tax system on track. Is it politically possible to get this reform, what with multiple constitutional amendments and legislative majorities and votes of the people involved? I don't know, but I think a more balanced tax system is a worthy goal, and worth setting aside political "no new taxes" pledges, etc., to attain.

  • (Show?)

    Here's the fixed link: It Ain't No "Rainy Day Amendment"

    I will fix the link in the post after some technical difficulties get fixed.

  • (Show?)

    I have been beating this drum at Loaded Orygun for a couple of weeks now.

    I've had my own experience talking with McIntire's signature gatherers. They're completely oblivious to anything but what he tells them.

    I've also had the NW Republican crowd attempt to shout me down on our blog about it as well.

    I think the local blogging on this has been effective. Certainly the MSM has picked up on it (Melica Johnson at KATU has done a great job, which is key to public awareness.

    (Apologies for the blogwhore linking--I wanted folks to know that blogs and MSM have definitely been going after this story).

  • (Show?)

    I so appreciate those of you who take the time to keep tabs of these types of issues and make them visible to us. Much much appreciated.

  • (Show?)

    I generally support the initiative process but have always had an issue over the questions the petitions ask. There is a major disconnect between the true intent of a petition and the presentation to the public at large.That said, our family left our home state of Oregon when the effects of Measure 5 became apparent. Our children enjoyed a first class public school experience in Connecticut. French and Spanish instruction beginning in grade 5, fulltime music teacher, fulltime band/orchestra teacher, fulltime school nurse, fulltime art teacher, fulltime libraian, fulltime special ed teacher, half time speech therapist, half time school psychologist, half time gifted and talented teacher, a fulltime PE teacher and a reading specialist, plus staff inservice every Wednesday on a shortened day schedule. My kids teachers were outstanding, up on the latest, excellent diagnosticians of learning difficulties and had plenty of parent contact. The school housed 350 students K-5, thats FULL day K five days per week.

    The TABOR like plan by McIntire will kill off all the good ideas by the Oregon Chalkboard project and weaken the already weak public schools in Oregon. Buildings are crumbling, kids are out begging for money to buy new football helmets or field trips. Oregon kids are already eating a meatless soup...McIntires plan gives K-12 kids a clear broth, no veggies or protien. This petition must not get legs. Time to stop another really BAD idea. Vote for Rob Brading, keep Kulongoski in office and support public services at all levels...end of rant.

  • (Show?)

    Becky sez: "In the past, McIntire proposed a "triple nickel" plan - 5% sales tax, 5% income tax, and $5/$1000 AV property tax that seems to me to make a lot of sense, perhaps with some minor tweaks, for getting our tax system on track. Is it politically possible to get this reform, what with multiple constitutional amendments and legislative majorities and votes of the people involved?"

    Isn't it simpler, fairer and more logical simply to restore the balance between wealth income and wage income, and corporate income and individual income? When companies and interest-earners start paying their fair share of the burden, we can talk about other things.

  • jim karlock (unverified)

    Can anyone tell me what our (in Portland) property tax rate would be without measure 5? Would it be high enough that some people would lose their homes?

    Thanks JK

  • Sid Leader (unverified)

    My union, the OEA, is slapping down DonnyMac again... TABOR will become law when W finds Osama.

    Like, uh, never.

    Next case, please. The U.S. Government versus really dead Ken Lay, aka KennyBoy Bush!

  • LT (unverified)

    Can anyone tell me what our (in Portland) property tax rate would be without measure 5? Would it be high enough that some people would lose their homes? Thanks JK

    Yes, there was a problem with property taxes in Portland.

    Unfortunately, however, although that area with the most population passed Measure 5, it affected the whole state.

    And people like McIntire are not really interested in the property tax burden of ordinary people. Measure 5 was a shift, not a gift--look at the balance of business vs. individual taxes.

    And the way Measure 5 was written, a young family buying a house has a different property tax rate than a family living in that neighborhood for decades. As I recall, the property tax changes when the property changes hands, so the young family who bought a house recently which had changed hands one or more times since Measure 5 has a diff. property tax burden than similar property under the same ownership since before Measure 5 passed.

    McIntire has always been snippy to those who disagree with him. But does he have solutions? No--he only cares about himself. Perhaps that is why he hasn't had any success in this century. For all the claims of "vanishing young voters", those are the folks who were in public school when Measures 5 and 47 took effect, and saw the consequences of budget cuts first hand.

    Isn't McIntire's target audience closer to his own age? Aside from a few like Jason Williams, how many young people support McIntire's measures?

  • Becky (unverified)

    And the way Measure 5 was written, a young family buying a house has a different property tax rate than a family living in that neighborhood for decades.

    This is incorrect. Under the subsequent Measure 50 property tax law, unless I'm wrong, the only thing that can trigger a property tax increase (other than the maximum 3% per year plus voter-approved levies) is improvements to the property that are greater than $10,000 of value in a year. And then, the only increase allowed is for the value of the improvements.

    The law you're thinking of is the property rights law passed years ago in California, where increases are, I believe, limited to 1% a year so long as property is within the same ownership.

  • Ross Williams (unverified)

    Oregon has seen a huge shift in the tax burden over the last 25 years from business to individuals. McIntire, the Republican Party and other anti-government folks take advantage of that shift and their measures are designed to exacerbate it since it fuels discontent with the level of taxes people pay that they can then exploit for future measures.

    What is most dangerous about TABOR is that it assumes the current level of spending can sustain the current level of government services. But in fact, Oregon has been living off deferred maintenance for quite some time. The current level of government spending extended out into the future will mean that many roads will have to be allowed to go back to gravel, public buildings such as schools and libraries will deteriorate, sewers and water reservoirs, public swimming pools will not need to be upgraded, etc.

    In addition, it assumes that government will not need to make new investments in the future. If a road is gravel now, it is assumed it will remain gravel. If a school lacks computers to teach students, it will always lack those computers. If a neighborhood doesn't have street trees or sidewalks now, it never will. Or at least those new investments will require a corresponding reduction in other costs. In short, it assumes that as people's income grows their demand for public services won't.

    And frankly, that is the point of TABOR. To prevent people, through their elected officials, from deciding to increase government services or even to maintain the current level. It is the not an anti-tax agenda, it is an anti-government agenda designed to instituationalize dissatisfaction with government. And that dissatisfaction will then be used to further reduce taxes. With a disproportianate portion of the reduction going to business to further shift the burden of government onto the individual taxpayer. Thus feeding the cycle.

  • Chris McMullen (unverified)

    News flash Ross, Oregonians are already dissatisfied with government.

    • DHS missed their budget by $170 million.

    • Public education is (supposedly) in a funding crisis.

    • ODOT continues to spend millions on bypass and GPS studies while lying to the legislature about bridges falling apart.

    • PERS is still gobbling up millions and only getting worse.

    • Oregon's economy is still lagging behind the rest of the country.

    Funny how the labor unions, who depend on taxpayers and subsidies for their livelihoods, are so against spending limits. It's obvious they don't care about the poor, children or the elderly and are only concerned with lining their pockets and maintaining their power base.

  • Dan J (unverified)

    Yes Ross,

    you've discovered our secret plan. We are going to eliminate Gov't and let anarky reign!

    IBM, Intel, Dupont, & McDonalds Corporation are taking over. Our churches & schools run by the Catholic Church(oops, that already happens) and will be served Big-n-Tasty's.

    It is a dark, endless purge cycle designed to rid the state of its socialist leanings. Fortunately, the voters aren't intelligent enough to think things through on their own. Those lemmings!

    The only hope is if you share with them the documented findings you've shared with us. Don't hesitate Ross, time is not on the side of good, but of evil!

  • Ross Williams (unverified)

    Oregonians are already dissatisfied with government.

    Of course they are and they ought to be. Oregon already has decaying roads, schools, social services and public safety. The college education necessary for people to compete in the coming century is becoming out of reach to many people born in Oregon as in-state tuition costs at public colleges and universities escalate. Successful businesses, like Intel and Nike, largely have to recruit from out of state.

    And much of that has been caused by the transfer of the tax burden to individual Oregon taxpayers. Its not surprising that they are dissatisfied when they are individually paying higher taxes while getting worse service. And they are getting worse service because companies are no longer paying their share.

    you've discovered our secret plan

    There is nothing secret about it, all you have to do is believe what Don McIntire says when he isn't shilling a measure. His goal is not to reduce taxes, its to reduce the size of government. He wants government to do less, not do more with the same resources by becoming more efficient.

    And McIntire is absolutely clear that the purpose of all his measures is to prevent elected officials from raising taxes to pay for new services, no matter how popular that is with the voters.

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