Monday, January 14, 2013

Joe the Taxpayer: The Measure 5 Blame Game. Lawmakers' "Fix" of 5 Caused Current Problems

Lawmakers have Measure 5 in their cross hairs again this legislative session. The Oregon League of Cities and other groups are urging legislators go after the property tax limiting Measure 5 again, with lots of graphs to twist the problems of Measures 47/50, both of which were efforts to neuter Measure 5. 

But they caused the problems in the first place. Now they reckon the cure was worse than the "illness".

Oregon's newspapers are being enlisted in the fight. The following editorial in the Eugene Register Guard  :

A house on Garden Way in northeast Eugene sold recently for $178,000, and a house on Lincoln Street in south Eugene sold for $179,900. A fair property tax system would collect close to the same amount from both owners, but that’s not happening. Property taxes on the Lincoln Street house are $1,002 a year less.
This is a study by Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue that's making the rounds of Salem and local government

Measure 5 taxed property at the true market value and it killed rampant use of Urban Renewal. Measure 5 forced special taxing districts to go to the voters, to ask them if they wanted to be taxed more to pay for urban renewal and other tax special taxing districts breaks.

Now, as Don McIntire and Tom Dennehy predicted, if we capped property taxes and like in California with prop 13 and Oregon's measure 47/50, we now have similar properties paying different amounts. In their naked zeal to "fix" Measure 5, they wrote new measures whose problems were foreseeable. They chose to close their eyes and now we have this inequity as a result.

Most of the compression problems are because the cities like Portland just added a tax base for the Oregon historical society and libraries. And most of the politicians who that think we have a problem, supported those new taxing districts with their tax increases.

The latest attempt to kill Measure 5 because of the screw ups on Measures 47 and 50 is a money grab. Even the Register Guard admits it, though it tries to hide it (note my emphasis below),

The League of Oregon Cities will ask the Legislature to reduce the inequities by requiring that the taxable value of property be adjusted to its real market value at the time of sale. The league notes that 15 of the 17 states that have limits similar to those of Measure 50 reset assessed values when property changes hands. No one’s taxes would go up as a result of this change, 
...The league’s proposal would also increase revenues for local governments. The Legislative Revenue Office estimates that higher taxes on properties that change hands would total $92 million in the first year, and $1.1 billion annually after 10 years.
Who created Measure 50 and the inequities? It was a creation of the Oregon legislature trying to fix measure 47. So why are they blaming Measure 5 for their screw up?

I guess they can't admit they are the problem and again Measure 5, becomes the scapegoat for their over taxing and spending!

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