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Completely Clueless in Eugene

January 12, 2011 J

The City of Eugene, apparently not satisfied with making a mess of the services they are supposed to be providing, now wants to study imposing a City income tax to pay for schools. Never mind that the City has no responsibility for schools under either the state constitution or the City charter.

This is precisely the wrong direction the City should be taking if they want to improve schools and school funding. A new local income tax – the only one of its kind in Oregon if implemented – would produce the same kind of failure the Legislature’s passage of higher taxes did: less revenue than expected as businesses and individuals flee to lower tax areas.

The plan, if ultimately approved, would be a huge boon to the City of Springfield, where the tax wouldn’t apply and which is located hard by Eugene. It would be a “no-brainer” move for anyone wishing to avoid the new tax.

Readers may recall that Multnomah County tried the same idea a few years ago, took in less revenue than expected, and ultimately junked the tax. Eugene should take a lesson from history and toss this ridiculous idea in the trash where it belongs.

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