Dear Friends and Colleagues,
That’s the message from Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, our state-wide association of churches, and a coalition of those who care about the common good of Oregon.
Measure 84 ends Oregon’s Estate tax. Defend Oregon notes: “This is a massive tax break that only benefits the heirs of millionaires. Oregon’s Estate Tax only applies to estates worth more than $1 million. This tax break would only apply to less than 750 of the richest estates each year, while forcing cuts to schools and services that middle-class families depend on.”
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon recommends a “NO” Vote on Measure 84: — “Vote “NO” on Measure 84 based on social principles regarding human rights, economic justice and support for adequate government revenue. At a time of growing economic inequality, and underfunding of public education and other critical state programs, it makes no sense to eliminate estate taxes that affect only a small percentage of wealthy Oregonians and that impose a modest and reasonable rate of taxation on the transfer of estates only after exempting the first one million dollars of value from taxation.”
Measure 85 reforms Oregon’s corporate kicker. Again, Defend Oregon explains: “Measure 85 will reform the corporate kicker by putting money into Oregon K‐12 classrooms, rather than back into the pockets of large, out‐of-state corporations. That would mean lowering class sizes and restoring important school programs.
These funds would also help get Oregon schools off of the financial roller coaster and provide more stability, even in economically tough years.”
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon urges a “YES” vote on Measure 85 — “Vote “YES” on Measure 85, based on human right to public education and need for adequate levels of government revenue. Due primarily to state budget cuts, Oregon schools have been forced to lay off nearly 16 percent of teachers (plus thousands of support and administrative staff ), while average class sizes have climbed by nearly 20 percent over the last three years, according to data collected by the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators.
Other critical state programs have also suffered dramatic cuts. Eliminating the corporate kicker, which EMO opposed when it was first proposed, is a small but important step toward restoring adequate levels of school funding.”
My hope had been to schedule a meeting with faith leaders to discuss these two important issues but busy schedules have made that impossible. I invite you to contact Naivasha Dean with Defend Oregon at 503-239-8029 with questions about these measures and for information on how your faith community might become involved in the campaign.
Rev. Chuck Currie