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January 13, 2010     The Sun Paper
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January 13, 2010

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2 The Sun, Wednesday, January 13, 2010 PINION Save jobs, vote No on 66 &67 In 2009, during a severe economic downturn, Oregon lawmakers attempted to balance the two-year state bud- get by raising taxes and fees. Inflation is rtmning less than 1 percent a year, yet proposed spending went up 9 percent. Upset Oregonians collected more than enough signa- tures for referendum on two of those laws. The vote on the tax increases is on the mail-in ballot election ending on Jan. 26. The state estimated the two tax increases would raise $727 million, or about 1 percent of the state budget. Some legislators objected to the increases, saying the state had billions of leftover dollars in agency accounts that could be used to balance the budget. State Senator Brian Boquist (R., Dallas) said on Jan. 8 that a recent state report verified that claim. He said the State Controller's Division at the Depart- ment of Administrative Services, found that "As of June 30, 2009, the State's governmental funds reported com- bined ending fund balances of $4.4 billion." Of this amount, 25.1 percent was reserved for nonspendable items, such as inventories and permanent fund principal, or specific purposes, such as debt service. "The remainder [about $3 billion] was classified as unreserved, undesignated fund balance and was avail- able for spending, subject to statutory and constitutional spending constraints." Meanwhile, more than 10 percent of private sector workers have lost their jobs, while government employ- ment remained stable. Many jobs going away in Oregon are in wood products, construction and manufacturing. Darrell Vittone, Rotarian and owner of Techtonics Tuning, the Sheridan VW specialist parts company, is Jeery opposed to both measures. He's worried he might have to close his doors. "It threatens my business," he said. "They are taxing growth instead of taxing profits." The law does not allow Willamina School District su- perintendent Mark Jeffery to campaign for or against measures, but he did comment on the impact defeat could have on his budget. "Potentially it could be about $500,000," he said. That works out to about $430 to $450 less per weighted stu- dent, the state's way of counting students, if the taxes are repealed and the total impact is in one year, according to the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators. Despite public employee unions and school district lobbyists' statements, the laws do not determine where funds raised would be spent. They are strictly tax increase laws. The nonpartisan Cascade Policy Institute estimates that these tax increases would cost another 70,000 jobs. What's the bottom line here? A reputable think tank says these increases would cause more unemployment and the state's own budget analysts say there's enough money stashed away in fund balances to cover the defi- cit. Therefore, we strongly recommend a No vote on both measures. Tell the Legislature they've gone too far and Oregon's workers simply can't afford any more unrealis- tiC budgeting. U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, 230 Dirksen Senate Office Build- ing Washington, DC 20510. Phone 202-224-5244 S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, B40B Dirksen Senate Office Build- ing, Washington, DC 20510. Phone 202-224-3753 U.S. Rap. David Wu - Oregon-let Dist., 2338 Rayburn HOB, Washington, D.C. 20515. Phone 202-225-0855 District Office: 620 SW Main Street, Suite 606, Portland, OR 97205. Phone 503-326-2901 or 1-800-422-4003. U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader, Oregon-5th Dist.," 1419 Longworth HOB, Washington, DC 20515-3705. Phone: 202- 225-5711 Governor Ted Kulongoski, 160 State Capitol, 900 Court Street, Salem, OR 97301-4047. Phone: Governor's Citizens' Representative Message Line 503-378-4582. Sen. Brian Boquist - Dist. 12; 900 Court St NE, S-305, Salem, OR 97301. Phone 503-986-1712. E.maih Rep. Jim Thompson - Dist. 23; 900 Court St. NE, H-388, Salem, OR 97301. Phone 503-986-1423. E-mail: Rap. Jim Weidner - Dist. 24; 900 Court St. NE, H-387, Salem, OR 97301. Phone 503-986-1424. E-maih Oregon Legislative Information and Citizen Access: Phone 1-800-332-2313. Yamhill County Commissioners: Kathy George, Leslie Lewis, Mary Stern, Yamhill County Courthouse, 535 NE Fifth Street, McMinnville, OR 97128. Phone 503-434-7501. PolkCounty Commissioners: Ron Dodge, Tom Richey, Mike Propes. Polk County Courthouse, Dallas, OR 97338- 3174. Phone 503-623-8173. The Sun 493-940 Jo00( Clinton Vining EDITOR and PUBLISHER POSTAL NOTICE: Published weekly by The Sun, 136 E. Main Street, Sheridan, OR 97378; Periodicals postage paid at Sheridan, OR 97378. SUBSCRIPTION RATE (one year): $29 in Yamhill/Polk County. $39 out of area. Payment must be received by noon Friday for subscription to start with the following Wednesday's edition. DEADLINES: Letters to the editor, society and church news, press releases, general -- Noon Friday. Legal notices, display -- 5 p.m. Friday. Classified display -- Noon Monday. Classified ads -- 5 p.m. Monday. Phone: (503) 843-2312. Fax: (503) 843- 3830. E-mail: POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Sun, RO. Box 68, Sheridan, OR. 97378. I McMinnville Chamber opposes Ballot Measures 66 and 67 The McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce an- nounced recently that its Board of Directors voted unanimously (with one abstention) to oppose Ballot Measures 66 and 67. In opposing HB 2649 (Measure 66) and HB 3405 (Measure 67), both passed by the Oregon Leg- islature in its recent session, the Board upheld a recommenda- tion from the Chamber's Gov- emment Affairs Council. liB 2649 increases the in- come tax for high earners, many of whom are small busi- ness owners, while HB 3405 increases the corporate mini- mum tax to levels based on gross Oregon sales. Mindful that federal income taxes are scheduled to increase in 2011 when the current rates expire, the Chamber recognizes that barring federal action to make those current income tax rates permanent, HB 2649 will be the first punch in a significant one- two combination compounding the tax burden on numerous business owners. At the same time, HB 3405's focus on gross sales is potentially devastating to businesses which experience high sales volume but low or even negative net income, all too common in the current eco- nomic environment. Both tax increases would be retroactive to 2009, dealing a further blow to established personal and cor- porate budgets. The McMinnville Chamber boasts a strong record of sup- port for local tax measures that preserve and enhance commu- nity infrastructure because those measures benefit local business and the economy as well. And although the Cham- ber is aware of and appreciates that defeat of Measure 66 and 67 may have an adverse effect on many agencies and organi- zations which rely on State funding, it has concluded that these specific tax increases pro- posed by the Legislature are inconsistent with the Chamber's commitment to a vibrant business environment. In summary, the Chamber views HB 4305 (Measure 67) as a significant and harmful change in Oregon tax policy by moving to tax gross Oregon sales when net income does not produce a sufficient tax base. In the case of HB 2649 (Mea- sure 66), the tax increase will overwhelmingly fall on small business owners where most job creation occurs. Given that job creation is the key to a solid economy and to economic re- covery, significant permanent business tax increases resulting from passage of Measures 66 and/or Measure 67 will have the opposite damaging impact. Understand, then vote To the Editor: At the public forurn concem- ing Measures 66 and 67 this past Wednesday night, Ashland's rep- resentative, Peter Buckley, chair of the Joint Ways and Means Committee, and Beaverton's rep- resentative, Tobias Read, who serves on the Revenue Commit- tee, graciously came to help Yamhill County citizens sort out the facts about these two mea- sures. They responded to ques- tious in favor, opposed, and un- decided, and citizens left much more educated about the mea- sures, Oregon's budget and our budget process. Sadly, there continues to be a number of misconceptions being spread around and many people, mostly our business leaders, are afraid, upset or bitter about these measures. There are too many jobs at stake, and families could be hurt because of people not making a concerted effort to both leam and tell the troth. Please go to the Oregon Center for Public Policy website, www.ocpp:org and study the facts. This is a non- partisan think tank and will give you the real facts about Measures 66 and 67. You may also contact Rep- resentative Buckley,, or Representative Read, who are willing to help all of us understand the measures BEFORE we vote and are open to suggestions for stronger, fairer laws in the future. Liz Marlia-Stein McMinnville Yes for fairness To the Editor: As a teacher, I have to fully support measures 66 and 67. I recognize that they are not per- fect solutions, but I also feel strongly that it is unreasonable to vote down an issue simply because it is not perfect. Measures 66 and 67 go a long way to bring tax fairness to Oregon. It is time that those who can, shoulder more of the burden. For too long the middle class of.this state has been giv- ing and giving. It's time that wealthy business do more, pay their 'air share. Below is link that shows the impact of these measures on Ymrthill County. I ask that you look at it before you vote this month. I hope, that as you inform yourself about these issues, you will See that this is somthing that Oregon desperately needs. http ;//voteyes map/yamhill.html. Kevin Jeffries Why did doctors flee to the U.S.? To the Editors: After reading two articles in The Sun on 1/6 (Doctors discuss health reform in McMiunville and Sheridan Doctors weigh in on health insurance reform de- bate) I am thankful that I am a veteran who's healthcare is pro- vided by our government who hires United States educated and trained doctors who are more concerned with my health and welfare than their own personal incomes. Dr. Gigena, of McMinn- ville, comes from Argentina where his six years in medical school was paid for by Argen- tina TAX payers (his patients) and where the public hospital today epitomizes all the contra- dictions in their health care sys- tem as a whole. It exhibits seri- ons structural deterioration and managerial inefficiency; a high degree of administrative central- ization at the provincial level; rigidity in its staffing structure and labor relationships; no ad- equate system of incentives; in- adequate information systems on which to base decision-mak- ing and control; serious deficits in facilities and equipment main- tenance; and a system of man- agement ill-suited to its size. Its budgets, in most jurisdictions, follow the traditional pattern of assigning resources by function or by set of practices. Hospital budgets are often subject to po- litical pressure. The above infor- marion is from the International Development Research Center. Instead of fighting for quality care and welfare for his patients inArgentina, the verypeople who paid for his medical schooling, he decides to flee to the United States leaving children crying in pain. Using the freedoms given by our government, fought and paid for with the lives of thou- sands of American men and women, Dr. Gigena claims our government can't cut $500 bil- lion and still treat old folks; He stated, with tears in his eyes, "You'd think they would fight" but he himself did not stay and fight for his patients, so why does he think that. He went on, with .other members who discussed problems in other countries. They failed to mention the 2.6 million people in the United States, who have health insur- ance, and filed for bankruptcy due to medical bills in 2009 or the people who are denied by insurance companies because of pre-existing conditions or the thousands who lose their insur- ance each month because they can no longer afford it. Dr. Swensson seemed more concerned with Medicare pay- ing less than $44 per visit than the health and welfare of his pa- tients. I guess health insurance companies pay more and that's what is important to him. They forgot to mention that the United States is ranked no. 1 in the world, for the healthcare of people over age 65, by the World Health Organization. This is because of Medicare. They also forgot to mention that the healthcare industry has donated over $1 billion, in the past two years, to our Congress in an effort to defeat healthcare reform. That $1 billion is from the premiums paid by their cus- tomers and not money spent on their healthcare. They also did not mention the $2 to $5 mil- lion salary that the CEO's of the insurance companies earn from the premiums paid. They did mention that 85 percent of Americans have health insur- ance but failed to mention the Tri-Met union employees get- ting their $1,900 per month in- surance paid for totally by us- ers for the Tri-Met system and that $2,000 of each automobile manufactured in the United States goes to health insurance. They also forgot to mention that a considerable portion of those insured work for our gov- ernment (city-state-federal) who's insurance is paid for by TAX payers, some of whom cannot afford insurance for themselves. They did mention the fraud in Medicare but failed to men- tion that some of that fraud is by doctors and unscrupulous bill- ing practices. They also failed to mention that some doctors prescribe medications based on the amount of kickback rather than what is best for their patient's health and welfare. Then there'is Dr. David Collins from Canada who at- tended medical school in Saskatchewan and an internship in Canada. One can only won- der why he fled Canada being our healthcare systems is in such shambles. Could it be he could make more money from insur- ance companies here? Only he knows the answer to this. Other doctors who made statements are fully aware that the current healthcare system is in shambles and needs to be fixed. The $1 billion donated by the healthcare industry to our Congress representatives will insure what we get is so watered down that it won't be effective except to increase the insurance companies profits and incomes of doctors. The public option is the only wayto assure insurance companies reduce premiums, lower deductibles, lower out of pocket maximums, eliminate lifetime caps and assure people with pre-existing conditions to get quality affordable healthcare for all Americans. Terry Davis Sheridan Letters are welcome, but must be signed Yes, we like letters. But they must be signed or they won't be published. Please provide a telephone number--for verification pur- poses only. The phone number will not be published. All letters are subject to ed- iting. Please limit length to 300 words or less. Deadline is 5 p.m. Friday. Send your letters to P.O. Box 68, Sheridan, OR, 97378. You may also e-mail to: