This Saturday, anti-tax activists will attempt to collect 10,000 signatures in one day - to refer a new Lane County income tax to the ballot. Commissioners enacted the new income tax in order to offset the expected loss $40 million in federal payments to Oregon counties.
First, a little background from the Register-Guard:
The commissioners last month enacted a first-ever countywide income tax to offset the expected loss of millions of dollars annually in federal aid to rural counties. Some citizens fiercely oppose the tax, noting voters rejected an income tax for public safety in November. ...
Congress is debating whether to renew $500 million in annual payments to Oregon and other states with federal timberland for which counties must provide services but on which they cannot levy property taxes or other fees.
Lane County government in recent years has received about $40 million annually under the program. Commissioners Faye Stewart, Bobby Green and Bill Dwyer said they enacted the income tax to avoid the possible loss of more than 250 county jobs plus a wide range of services.
What do these anti-government activists have to accomplish?
Petitioners need 5,577 valid signatures; they said they plan to collect 10,000. The roughly half-dozen signature-gathering sites countywide will be released Tuesday, said Bob Hooker, a chief petitioner from Creswell.
"I want to see everybody get out and get their voice heard on that Saturday," Hooker said. "It would make such a tremendously strong statement to our elected officials that hopefully this would never happen again." ...
The petitioners have until May 22 to collect the signatures and will carry on the drive if they fail to net enough signatures next Saturday, Hooker said. He stressed that supporters of a public vote should plan on joining next Saturday's effort.
Read the rest. Discuss.