Oregon has set aside its history of shooting down tax increases on statewide ballots, with voters endorsing higher taxes on businesses and the rich amid a brutal economic slump.
Democrats in the Oregon Legislature made it as easy as they could for the voters to raise taxes on somebody else, and the electorate responded Tuesday by approving Measures 66 and 67.
The increases approved Tuesday will hit people with taxable income upward of
$125,000 -- estimated at fewer than 3 percent of filers. Many businesses who had
been paying an annual $10 minimum will see that rise to at least $150.
With 91 percent of the vote counted, the vote was 54-46 on Measure 66 and 53-47 on Measure 67.
With the elections in New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts, the trend was toward smaller government and lower taxes. Oregon has bucked that trend with this vote.
This will be a state to watch because people vote with their feet. You can bet that the wealthy and corporations will be moving to states where the tax environment is more friendly. This is exactly what's happened in Michigan, New York, and California and those states have suffered as a result. Oregon appears to have not learned those lessons.