HD42: Gordon Hillesland

By Gordon Hillesland of Portland, Oregon. Gordon is a candidate for House District 42. Learn more at www.GordonforRep.com. Tomorrow we'll hear from Regan Gray.

GordonhilleslandBeginning about 35 years ago, people who have achieved positions of leadership in our governments have been working to reduce the services provided by government. This reduction in service is achieved by reducing revenue to the government. Reduction of the abilities of government entities to provide service has been achieved in all areas of influence, including education, all law enforcement and the armed forces. The goal is to privatize all services provided by government entities and, eventually, all government assets. A good example of privatization is the war in Iraq. All logistical and support functions have been privatized. The result is a large amount of profit being funneled to private industry. We are at a point now where, if we wish to continue having government provide certain services, we must enhance revenue to government. However, we must enhance revenue without requiring the honest people to pay more. The four activities in which Oregonians must engage ourselves to enhance revenue are:

1. insure compliance with revenue producing law;
2. reduce tax expenditures, tax discounts to special interest groups;
3. repeal property tax limitations, which have been written into our Oregon Constitution, so our taxing system can be adjusted; and,
4. repeal the kicker laws.

Insuring Compliance With Revenue Producing Law.

Revenue producing Departments in Oregon, as a result of reduced funding, are understaffed. Our highest priority must be to budget amounts which will allow appropriate funding to increase staffing for all of these Departments to levels which will optimize collection of revenue legally due.

In addition, use of enforcement tools is no longer optimized. Public notices of indebtedness are no longer routinely filed. Personal and real property is no longer seized and sold to satisfy indebtedness. A good example of this was documented by Willamette Week in an article entitled "The Case of the Fecal Physician", http://wweek.com/editorial/3133/6444. The article demonstrates the lack of use of enforcement tools. Policies regarding enforcement tools must be reviewed to insure use of enforcement tools is optimized.

Reducing Tax Expenditures.

Tax expenditures are not loopholes. Loopholes are unexpected results. Tax expenditures are well planned tax discounts to specific special interest groups for the benefit of those special interest groups. You may obtain a copy of the Tax Expenditure Report from the Division of Budget and Management to learn what they are. There will be many you will not want to repeal because you belong to the appropriate special interest group. However, there will be many that most will agree should be repealed. Repeal of these special interest group discounts will greatly enhance revenue without requiring the average taxpayer to pay more.

Currently, the repeal of a tax expenditure law requires a super majority in both the House and Senate. This requirement is based on the opinion of an attorney formerly employed by Legislative Council during the time of the Republican majority. This opinion should be rejected. Since the implementation of a tax expenditure law only requires a simple majority, the repeal of a tax expenditure law should only require a simple majority.

Repealing Constitutional Property Tax Limitations

Constitutional restrictions make the task of realigning our taxing system impossible. These restrictions must be repealed if logic is to be inserted in our taxing system.

Repeal Kicker Laws

The kicker laws must be repealed. Government is business and no business can function well if extraordinary amounts from years providing enhanced revenue cannot be put into a contingency fund to insure provision of goods and services in years of reduced revenue.

In summary, fixing our taxing system does not require the addition of new taxes. Adjusting our current system is all that is required.

Many people speak of the many tasks which government is expected to accomplish. Provision of human services, law enforcement, maintenance of transportation infrastructure, pollution control and abatement, controlled use of natural resources and production of sustainable energy are only a few of the tasks we want government to accomplish. I have many goals I want to accomplish from this listing. However, attaining most goals requires money. Acquisition of money is the primary task at hand. Until our taxing system is designed to optimize revenue to the operating body of our society, our government, and until compliance is insured, these goals will not be accomplished.

Today’s governmental philosophy requires the assignment of provision of government services to private industry if government appears to be unable to provide the service. When private industry provides a service, which government previously provided, costs to the user/taxpayer will be increased because profits will be required. Profit is not required when government provides the service.

Therefore, adjusting our taxing system and insuring compliance with that system are the primary tasks to be completed. Until these tasks are completed, our government entities cannot provide the services we believe government should provide.

  • PSJackson (unverified)

    I have worked with Gordon for over six years in the Democratic Party. He is dedicated to making our community a better place by making sure everyone is paying their fair share. Even though he does not have the resources to run as big as a campaign as the others in HD42, his ideas, opinions and candidacy are just as legitimate. Keep up the good work Gordon.

    Shane Jackson District Leader, HD42, Multnomah County Democratic Party

    PS. This is not an endorsement, just an informed observation.

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    This seems like as good of an analysis of the "starve the beast" policies of the right-wing as any. I'd love to see Hillesland in a position to call them out.

    One of the other overlooked problems with privitization is that it reduces legislative oversight and leaves enforcement of standards in the hands of the executive leader and the executive's appointed department heads who formulate the rules. Bush has of course taken this to the extreme point of having his own private mecenary army in Blackwater, but the principle and the risk is the same whereever private industry is brought in to perform core government functions like law enforcement, prisons, or both foster care and elder care, both of which are essentailly privitized in Oregon without any meaningful oversight or consequences for neglect or outright abuse on the part of the contractors. Hillesland would work well with potential AG Vicki Walker on cleaning up that mess.

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    Yeah, I meant potential SOS Walker, naturally.

  • Doug (unverified)

    Whats the deal with the picture, couldn't find a camera from this century?

  • jak (unverified)
    <h2>Gordon seems like a great candidate! His issues on taxes make sense. When you boil all the issues down, they mostly all depend on revenue. Once the state is able to enforce the tax laws already on the books, we will have plenty of revenue to fund things like healthcare, state troopers, etc. Plus, we can begin funneling more money into the Rainy Day Fund so we won't suffer like we did a few years ago. It would be great to have Gordon in the legislature!</h2>
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