Bad idea, right?

The voters of Salem, Oregon have spoken: They clearly do not want a new city earned income tax (which the media has lazily insisted on calling a "payroll tax," which it isn't, or wasn't). The darned thing lost by more than a 4 to 1 margin.

“The people of Salem sent a clear and decisive message that should echo through every corner of our state,” said Preston Mann, Oregon Business & Industry's director of political affairs and chief petitioner on the referendum to overturn the tax. “Oregonians do not support costly, complicated, and convoluted tax increases, especially when those tax increases come with so little accountability for how the dollars will be spent or managed."

I guess he's never been to Portland. 

Anyway, so now Salem City Hall will start inflicting punishing cuts to various worthwhile programs, as threatened, but funny thing, their pet projects will persevere. You won't be able to get a cop when you need one, but you can bet that "urban renewal" will soldier on undaunted.


  1. Don’t forget the taxpayer project to improve parking at salem airport for those half full flights

  2. As someone who lives in Salem, I’m very happy this terribly thought out tax didn’t pass. The campaign has awoken many residents to what’s going on in the city, and the incredible waste that happens. Many layers of management, analysts, and contractors in Salem city government, and Salem residents want to see that cut first. The city will try to institute harmful cuts, but they will have a huge fight on their hands.

  3. Here is what Salem (and Portland) needs instead of taxing work — tax land, the only base for a tax that is not diminished by the tax:

    The article is here (this link is long because it’s the unlocked version without a paywall):


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