Welcome to Oregon where figuring out who voted for what based upon their campaign platform becomes an exercise in mind games.
This week, Oregonians are slowly realizing the gut punch of the initial wave of introduced bills could cause if even half passed. The tax-mageddon has only just begun.
Several bills are fuel taxes. HB2075 increases aircraft fuel taxes, HB2082 is a carbon fuel tax (cars are bad, remember), HB2086 is a fossil fuel tax, HB2092 is a green energy tax credit (read "tax credit" as "government giveaway") for low or zero emissions vehicles and HB2272 is an increase in vehicle fuel.
Hold onto your pocketbook if half of those pass. Who is behind this? All of the above listed bills except for HB2272 were introduced by the House Interim Committee on Revenue. HB2272 was introduced by the House Interim Committee on Tranportation and Economic Development. Both of those committees have Rep. John Davis (R-Wilsonville) on them.
Conveniently, it is difficult to figure out how a legislator voted while in interim committees. Rep. Davis spoke to the local media and tipped his hand. Rep. Davis says he’s hoping lawmakers will pass a bill that could top half a billion dollars. The story also says he says gas taxes will almost certainly have to go up.
He also continues that even if something passes it won’t come close to covering the whole bill for Portland’. Doesn’t Rep. Davis know that there are other places in Oregon that will pay the gas tax that only benefits Portland as the story says? How does that help Klamath Falls or Grants Pass or Coos Bay?
What Rep. Davis may not realize, emissions are continually dropping due to the demand for higher efficiency cars. Our roads have not been maintained in Oregon because we have a governor who has explicitly stated "No new roads." Oregon is not lacking roads and maintenance because of funding, but because of an agenda that won't allow for them to be maintained. Not only that, Rep. Davis was a "yes" vote on HB2800 in 2013, which allowed Oregon to waste approximately $500 million transporation dollars on the Columbia River Crossing (CRC) proposal that lined the pockets of high paid consultants without ever driving a shovel in the ground.
One would ask, why isn't Rep. Davis, and his colleagues, looking for ways to save dollars within the waste of the Oregon Department of Transportation, instead of immediately seeking a solution in taxing an already burdened electorate that is actually feeling relief at the gas pump currently? Huge tranportation projects could have been funded by the wasted $200 million on the CRC money waste alone.
Here's another option: privatization. How ironic that some of Oregon’s supposed conservative Republican lawmakers are wanting to raise taxes on the working poor and middle class instead of doing what New Zealand socialists did in the 80’s when they privatized their Department of Transportation with the "goal of liberalising the economy and were notable for their very comprehensive coverage and innovations..
Instead of reaching into the pocketbooks of a weary, tax burdened, constituency.
Thought for the day: “With Republicans like this, who needs Democrat socialists?”