On the heels of the devastating rejection of their last big tax measure:
A coalition of Oregon's largest public employee unions and other advocacy groups unveiled a proposal on Tuesday to raise an additional $5 billion over two years from new and expanded taxes on corporations, health care providers and insurers.
A majority of the new revenue -- $4 billion -- would come from a 2 percent tax on all corporations' gross annual sales in Oregon above $100 million. The proposal is similar to Measure 97, a 2.5 percent tax on Oregon sales above $25 million that was pitched by many of the same groups. Voters roundly defeated the tax initiative in November.
Oregon faces a projected $1.7 billion shortfall in the next two-year budget, if lawmakers and the governor want to continue providing the same level of government services. The gap is largely due to the rising bill for the state's Medicaid expansion and higher personnel costs, including from public employee pensions.
No, the state doesn't face a revenue shortfall; revenue has never been higher in the history of the state. The problem is that Democratics insist upon spending more money than they have. There will never be enough.
Oregon's public-pension contribution rate has an 80 percent likelihood of exceeding 30 percent of payroll within the next few years, according to an analysis presented to the system's governing board.
Raise more taxes! But only on people who aren't public employees.
Here's an idea: how about getting rid of a bunch of agencies and their public employees?