Bob Niemeyer for District 35 House of Representatives for the state of Oregon
Fellow Oregonians:

Oregon should be limited to three types or sources of revenues for spending on government services.

    1. Income taxes
    2. Property taxes
    3. Dedicated taxes

Oregon should be limited to two types of spending.

    1. From General Funds
    2. From Dedicated funds to dedicated services

What is “Dedicated funds”? Simply put, any service that the government is responsible for supplying that has no ending or time limit would be funded by a dedicated source of revenues. Funding for roads that need a reliable cash flow to cover the construction and maintenance of roads and bridges is an example of something that has no end. Funding for Police and Fire protections would be an example of a specific dedicated service that property taxes would be the only source for and funds that could not be used for anything else, no matter how much the Legislature wants to spend the money on other things.

The “Dedicated Tax System” would change such expenses as funding of road construction or the funding of the Police from “Legislative control” to “Legislative Oversight”. The goal being that revenues collected for specific government responsibilities would not be subject to use for any other government service.

This will require a Constitutional amendment to set this up with the goal being to prevent tax dollars from being shifted around and spent on other activities both above and below the table.

The prime example is the use of property taxes to fund the schools. A few years back, funding the schools via property tax revenues was the cure-all way to increase the quality of education. We all know what happened since then was Oregon schools went from 4Th to 49th in quality in the nation. The government is always asking for more money and via bonds, special levies or making empty promises that are always ignored in very short order. EDUCATION IS NOT A PROPERTY RELATED SERVICE.

Property Taxes should be Dedicated to funding the Police and Fire protection with the revenues being placed into the necessary control of the State Treasurer with the Authority to say “Hands Off”. As said above, this will require an amendment to set this up.

The second example would be the road taxes collected at the pump for the dedicated use on the roads. The Dedicated tax system would be set up to fund roads by sending the money back to the Counties where the money was collected. In this case, the percent of revenues that the State gets for collecting the revenues would be fixed amount of about 5% and for large construction such as the Columbia River Bridge could be saved up by the Treasurer for later use without fear of the Legislature spending the money or using the future revenues as collateral for loans.

I personally believe that the property taxes would go down by about 50%. That would be a boon for fixed income Oregonians.