Oregon Governor Demands Taxes and Emergency Powers to Pay Unionized Public Workforce

Looking for amazing arrogance coupled with economic stupidity at the state government level?

You can find it in Oregon where Governor Kitzhaber Demands Tax Hikes and Emergency Powers and Warns he Might Turn to National Guard, if the legislature does not see things his way.

 Gov. John Kitzhaber warned Monday that he could be forced to mobilize the National Guard to police financially troubled timber counties if legislators and local officials can’t agree on a rescue plan to provide basic law enforcement.

Kitzhaber urged lawmakers to pass an unprecedented measure that would allow him — with the approval of legislative leaders and local county commissioners — to impose a temporary local income tax in counties that have slashed patrol, jail and prosecutorial services. Under House Bill 3453, those local taxes would be matched with an equal amount of money from state taxpayers.

Kitzhaber and several key legislative leaders are pressing ahead with the bill after Josephine and Curry counties rejected public safety property-tax levies last month. The two counties, which have lost the federal timber payments that once paid for most of their local operations, have largely halted their sheriff’s patrols and cut the number of jail beds in use.

Under questioning, Kitzhaber said that he would first look at another option –asking legislators for more money for state police patrols in troubled counties.

“If I was unable to get that, I’d have about no other resources than the National Guard,” he said, adding that the state has a “moral obligation” to preserve the public safety in those counties.

The governor said an income tax would be a better option than a property tax because it would affect those who have more ability to pay.

However, HB 3453 ran into strong opposition from several officials from Josephine County, which has a charter provision prohibiting a local income tax.

Rather than raising taxes how about cutting expenses, instituting right-to-work laws, ending prevailing wage laws, outsourcing police contracts to sheriff’s associations, and most importantly letting counties govern themselves.

About the Author:  Mike Shedlock is the editor of the top-rated global economics blog Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis, offering insightful commentary every day of the week. He is also a contributing “professor” on Minyanville, a community site focused on economic and financial education. Every Thursday he does a podcast on HoweStreet and on an ad hoc basis he contributes to many other websites, including UnionWatch.

3 replies
  1. Avatar
    Richard Rider says:

    Is Oregon the future of California? No. At least, not for a while.

    Only when we drive away sufficient CA rich folks and their economic benefits will we face the fact that we have big govt bills to pay and few payers capable of actually PAYING.

    Local income taxes are a wet dream for Democrats everywhere, but especially in tax-happy California. However, progressives (the triple digit IQ contingent) know that going after the wealthy again would only further encourage their departure from CA. So, if/when a local income tax comes, it will be closer to a flat tax, to get more money out of everybody.

    To have the state government imposing patchwork local income taxes (because they are deemed by the state to be “needed”) would be an interesting scenario — best viewed from the front porch of your new home in another state.

  2. Avatar
    Pierre says:

    If the States were allowed to withdraw from the PREVAILING RATES WAGES RULES which were imposed on the taxpayers years ago we might see a 50% increase in the building trade.

    California is pushing for High Speed Rail, built at Prevailing Wage Rates and with only Union Labor.

    The cost of this “Boondoggle” could be cut in 1/2 if common sense were allowed to PREVAIL.

  3. Avatar
    Stephanie Staker says:

    California government (assembly and senate) has NO common sense and hasn’t for a long, long time. Right now, the Democrats have a majority in both houses and, of course, this happened due to heavy contributions from public unions and their PAC’s. They want to increase income taxes, increase any and all governmental fees to squeeze the last penny out of those who work. California is neither business-friendly or family-friendly so people are leaving to where the jobs are and where they don’t have to see naked people walking down the street. I wish I was kidding about that but I am not. Even the liberals in Hollywood are moving out of the state because they don’t want to pay the high taxes. Yep, the public employees’ unions have shot themselves in the foot (or is it feet?) and refuse to understand simple logic. They DEMAND their wages and benefits and want their continued increased pay and fail to see that they too will pay more income taxes. Somehow they believe they’ll be exempt. It is just crazy la-la land stuff.

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