Education

Teachers Unions in Oregon Think You Don't Need to Be Reminded About Possible Tax Hikes

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From the Portland Oregonian:

The Oregon Education Association wants state legislators to remove the notice on ballot envelopes warning voters of a potential property tax hike in upcoming elections.

File:CTU Strikes for Smaller Class Sizes.jpg
Flickr: CTU Strikes for Smaller Class Sizes

Union officials say the warning, which the law now requires to be "boldly printed in red," unfairly singles out property tax measures and is not needed because the ballots themselves contain clear information about proposed tax hikes.

That's a pretty picayune concern for a teachers union, with no obvious connection to its stated purposes, wouldn't you say? Regardless of whether one thinks it necessary to have that warning at all, which was however passed by state voters via Measure 50 in 1997. Why might they care? 

"They do not want voters to know there is a tax vote on the ballot because they know if they open it up and look at it, they're more likely to vote no," said conservative tax activist Bill Sizemore, who wrote the initiative for the tax warning back in the 1990s.

Naah, says the union. We're just sayin' that the ballot doesn't need to be just sayin', you know?

[Union spokeswoman Becca] Uherbelau said the teachers union is not trying to depress turnout.

"Our history has shown that we have done a lot to increase voter participation," she said, noting that the union has frequently spent money encouraging people to vote in local school levy and bond elections.

Yes, teachers unions love people to get its people to vote the way it wants them to vote. 

Hat Tip: Walter Olson.

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  1. One area for charitable giving that would be enormously worthwhile would be privately-funded K-12 education vouchers. Government-run schools are the factories of stupidity.

  2. “Why might they care?”
    For the Childrunz! ™
    (oh, and the sentence right before that is incomplete)

  3. “When I first started teaching, I thought that I was doing it for all the right reasons: Shorter hours, summers off, no accountability…”

  4. “Senator Rand Paul ?@SenRandPaul
    The Path forward for the #GOP is rooted in respect for the Constitution and respect for the individual.”

    Rand Paul addresses CPAC at 1:30 ET today

  5. Union officials say the warning, which the law now requires to be “boldly printed in red,” unfairly singles out property tax measures and is not needed because the ballots themselves contain clear information about proposed tax hikes.

    It’s not like property taxes are somehow related to local school funding, right?

    1. Ding ding ding!

      Schools in Oregon used to be funded primarily through locally approved property taxes. One favorite tactics was to put levies on non-general elections where voter turnout was miniscule.

      Thanks to voter approved property tax limitations (tax rate and value assessment), funding for schools has shifted to the state’s general fund, although a good portion still comes from local property taxes.

  6. How nice of you to blame the unions. Aren’t they all out to get us? Just because they get what everyone should have does NOT mean that they are bad people trying to corrupt voting or any other thing. It is insane that you have the nerve to expect that these people who work just as hard as anyone working ANY job to do something that is meant to cheat voters. Its not like these large corporations like Wal-Mart that sell out their employees and treat them like slaves. Oh and by the way, the whole condescending tone of the whole article is nice and crude. Maybe you should think twice before being such jerk. But its not like people like you care right?

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