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LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
by John Watt, JWA Public Affairs
2018 Ballot Measures.
WHAT IS ON YOUR BALLOT?
Whatever your reason for voting, there has never been a more important time to vote! Here is a list of Measures and the effects they May Have.

o   Ballot Measure 102 - Amends Constitution: Allows local bonds for financing affordable housing with nongovernmental entities. Requires voter approval, annual audits Measure 102 would amend the state constitution to allow counties, cities, and towns to—with voter approval and certain restrictions—use bond revenue to fund the construction of affordable housing without necessarily retaining complete ownership of the constructed housing. Measure 102 would require that these affordable housing bonds be approved by local voters and that the total principal of any such bonds does not exceed 0.5 percent of the market value of the property within the jurisdiction of the county, city, or town. Currently, the state constitution does not allow revenue from bond issues to be used in a project with private owners or stakeholders. Measure 102 was designed to provide an exception to this prohibition for the construction of affordable housing.
  • Yes - Measure 102 will help more hard-working Oregonians access safe, affordable housing. The statewide constitutional amendment will help local communities build more housing. Learn More. Sign Up. Neighborhoods: Eugene, Medford, Bend, Salem, Portland.
  • No – From Eugene Register Guard editorial - The authors of the Constitution recognized the risks of entangling local government with private industry. If taxpayers are footing the bill, taxpayers should retain ownership of the final product or receive a substantial public good, not just pad private sector profits with public subsidies. The constitutional clause also is a barrier to corruption that prevents public officials from diverting tax dollars to their cronies in the private sector.
o   Ballot Measure 103 - Amends Constitution: Prohibits state/local taxes on sale/distribution/purchase of "groceries" (defined) enacted after September 2017 Measure 103 would prevent the enactment or increase of any state or local tax, fee, or assessment on the sale of groceries. Currently, Oregon does not have statewide sales tax—including on groceries—but has no law preventing local governments from establishing such a sales tax. Since there is no statewide sales tax in Oregon, groceries are not subject to a statewide sales tax. The prohibition on taxes or tax increases on grocery sales would apply to any tax or fee put in place on or after October 1, 2017, thereby applying retroactively to any taxes or fees enacted between October 2017 and the election on Measure 103. Measure 103 would define groceries as "raw or processed food or beverages intended for human consumption," excluding alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana. Based on this definition, the measure would preempt local governments from taxing soda or sugary beverages.
  • Fear of BM 97 in future – Gross sales tax
  • Yes- SIMPLE • SPECIFIC • PERMANENT - Some Oregon Politicians and Special Interests want to tax our groceries. That’s why we need to Vote Yes on Measure 103 to Keep Our Groceries Tax Free!
  • No - Measure 103 is a risky and dangerous experiment that would lock an unprecedented, unnecessary and flawed tax loophole into Oregon’s constitution.
o   Ballot Measure 104 - Amends Constitution: Requires three-fifths legislative majority for fee/tax increases, including changes to exemptions, credits, deductions
Measure 104 would define raising revenue in Section 25 of Article IV of the Oregon Constitution to include changes to tax exemptions, credits, and deductions that result in increased revenue, as well as the creation or increase of taxes and fees. As of 2017, Section 25(2) required a three-fifths vote of each state legislative chamber to pass bills raising revenue. Oregon's constitution states, "Three-fifths of all members elected to each House shall be necessary to pass bills for raising revenue." Voters passed this requirement as Measure 25 in 1996. In 2015, the Oregon Supreme Court issued a ruling that the Legislative Counsel said excluded bills to reduce tax breaks, such as exemptions and credits, from the three-fifths vote requirement.
  • Yes - END EASY TAX HIKES - Politicians have created loopholes to get around the state’s constitutional requirement for a three-fifths supermajority to raise taxes on Oregon families and small businesses. Measure 104 will close the loopholes and make sure politicians follow the state Constitution. Supported by Oregon State Chamber.
  • No - Measure 104 is a wasteful and unnecessary constitutional amendment that would lock in tax loopholes and perks for special interests and increase political gridlock. It would risk a government shutdown and threaten Oregon’s schools and healthcare.
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101 E. 8th St.  |  Medford, OR 97501
Phone: (541) 779-4847