Measure 56

Argument in Opposition

Voters have affirmed the majority-rule three times.

So why are politicians forcing a fourth vote? Taxes taxes, taxes!

Measure 56 disregards independent voters --
During primary elections independent voters have fewer ballot choices and consequently their participation can drop by as much as 50% from the general election. Measure 56 would make it easier to pass new taxes in primary elections when independent voters and others are not participating.

Measure 56 makes raising taxes 4 times easier --
Measure 56 could scrap the majority-turnout rule for four elections during a normal two-year election cycle. Imagine new property taxes being proposed every six months with no voter participation protection.

Measure 56 would repeat government abuses of the past --
In the old days, taxpayers complained of having to reject the same tax over and over again. The majority-turnout rule helped stop this abuse. Measure 56 weakens these voter participation protections and makes it easier for government to flood taxpayers with an endless stream of tax elections at odd times during the year.

Vote No on Measure 56

Don't disregard independent voters
Don't make raising taxes four times as easier
Don't repeat the government abuses of the past.

Keep an eye on politicians,
visit
OregonWatchdog.com
for daily Oregon political news and tax updates

(This information furnished by Jason Williams, Taxpayer Association of Oregon.)


Argument in Opposition

Huge Tax Increases Passed by Only 10 Percent of Voters

How democratic is it to allow huge, multi-million dollar property tax increases to be passed by only 10 percent of the voters; saddling every homeowner with huge tax increases that 90 percent of the voters did not support?

That's the issue the Double Majority was designed to address.

Those opposed to the Double Majority often make the argument that only those who bother to vote should decide an issue. That logical sounding statement is really a red herring. The real issue is majority rule. Majority rule is the foundation of the American electoral system.

Before the Double Majority, we had tyranny by a small activist minority. Here's why:

Currently, there are four election dates every year; one in March, May, September, and November.

Voter turnout in General Elections, which are held in November of even numbered years, is usually well above 60 percent. Turnout for regular May primaries, is typically less than 40 percent and is heavily slanted towards the party with the "hottest" primary races.

Turnout in the other six election dates is commonly in the 15-20 percent range.

Before the Double Majority, governments liked to put their unpopular tax increases on the ballot in those other six elections. They needed low voter turnout to win.

Before the Double Majority, people wondered how all those new taxes were passing when no one they knew voted for them. Truth is, almost no one did. With eighteen percent voter turnout, it only takes nine percent of the voters, plus one, for a small minority to pass a tax increase on everyone else. Ninety-one percent didn't vote for the tax, but still it passed.

The Double Majority ended politicians' sneaky strategy for passing tax increases that most taxpayers did not support.

Measure 56 takes us back to the un-American practice of allowing huge tax increases passed by only 10 percent of the voters.

Please vote "No."

(This information furnished by Russ Walker, FreedomWorks.)


Argument in Opposition

Measure 56 Effectively Repeals the Double Majority

Three times now, Oregon voters have approved the Double Majority and locked it into the Oregon Constitution. Oregon's political establishment is nonetheless still trying to get rid of it.

Measure 56 is our fourth vote on this issue and this time, in an act of pure deception, the legislature has let opponents of the Double Majority write the measure's official ballot title.

Before the Double Majority, city councils, county commissions, and school boards would state publicly that their strategy for passing one of their unpopular property tax increases was to put a measure on the ballot in a low turnout, special election and then focus on getting just "their" voters to the polls.

Those special elections would be held over and over until the tax measure eventually passed. If voters said "No," it merely meant that they wanted to vote again in a few months.

Before the Double Majority, multi-million dollar tax increases routinely passed in elections with eighteen to twenty percent turnout, which meant that literally 80 to 90 percent of the voters never voted for the tax increase and yet it passed!

Low turnout, special elections were governments' secret weapon against those "stingy" taxpayers.

The Double Majority's 50 percent turnout requirement forced governments to play fair. Under the Double Majority, if supporters of a tax increase could not achieve 50 percent voter turnout, the tax increase would fail for lack of a "voter quorum".

Measure 56 repeals the Double Majority for all elections held in May or November of odd numbered years. In those elections there are usually no candidates on the ballot and thus little interest, which is the perfect time to sneak a tax increase past the voters.

If voters approve Measure 56, we will be buried in new tax increases and will wonder who voted for them. And the answer will generally be, almost no one.

Now, just how democratic is that?

(This information furnished by Evelyn Poulo, Americans for Prosperity, Wash. Co. Chair.)


Argument in Opposition

Measure 56 Is Pure Deception

There is no way around saying this. Two years ago, Democrats took control of the state legislature for the first time in nearly two decades. Since then, it has been shocking to observe their utter disdain for the will of the voters and their willingness to manipulate public opinion. Please let me explain.

For decades, the official ballot titles for Oregon ballot measures have been written by a neutral party or have been subject to review by the Oregon Supreme Court. This system has safeguarded against inaccurate, biased or deceptive ballot titles.

As a matter of principle, voters should be able to trust that the official descriptions of the measures they vote on are accurate and unbiased. That definitely is not the case with Measure 56.

The ballot title for Measure 56 was not prepared by a neutral party. It was not reviewed by the Supreme Court. It literally was crafted by opponents of the Double Majority to deceive voters. Democrat legislators placed Measure 56's deceptive ballot title in a special bill and exempted it from court review.

With Measure 56, the political establishment is trying to fool you with ballot language intentionally designed to make supporters of the Double Majority vote to get rid of the Double Majority. This is the most cynical and dishonest thing I have ever seen out of the state legislature.

The Double Majority is simply a voter quorum law. It says governments can't pass huge tax increases in small, special elections with low voter turn-out. That's all it does.

The official ballot title, however, says that non voters count as "No" votes in some elections. That is not what the Double Majority does. The Double Majority completely nullifies all of the results of a tax measure election, if there was not sufficient voter turnout.

This protects the majority of voters from tax increases that otherwise might be passed by a small minority of voters.

(This information furnished by Bill Sizemore, Oregon Tax Payers United.)


Argument in Opposition

How many times do politicians have to be told "No"?

Oregon voters have told the politicians on three separate occasions that we want the "Double Majority" requirement, but they just can't seem to get over themselves.

The fact that the politician class keeps trying to undo the "Double Majority" should send a message to all Oregonians that if you give the politicians a chance, they will sneak through all kinds of tax increases in those "special" elections they so like to call. You know, those little elections that pop up when no one is paying attention, say in March.

As things stand now, even with the "Double Majority," if elected officials want to raise taxes during an off-year or "special" election there is nothing stopping them. All they have to do is get half the voters interested enough to vote, then convince a majority to vote "Yes," and they can have their tax increase.

Or they can wait until a November general election and go with a straight up or down vote with no turnout requirement at all. It's really not that difficult. But that is not what the politicians are interested in.

They are used to backroom deals and like to operate that way. Thus they want to eliminate the need to make a strong public argument to the voters. They want to get their tax increase without persuading us that the new tax is needed.

That's not fair and it's not right. Why should we allow elected officials, many of whom are professional politicians, to increase our taxes in sneaky special elections when no ones is paying attention?

Oregonians have had it right each time (three times now) that we have voted in favor of keeping the double majority. Oregonians would be right to vote to keep it again.

Keep the double majority in place. Vote "NO" on measure "56" and stop tax increases that do not have majority support.

(This information furnished by Tim Rohrer, Oregon Tax Payers United.)


Argument in Opposition

Huge Tax Increases Passed by 10 Percent of the Voters

How democratic is it to allow huge, multi-million dollar property tax increases to be passed by only 10 percent of the voters; saddling every homeowner with huge tax increases that 90 percent of the voters did not support?

That's the issue the Double Majority was designed to address.

Those opposed to the Double Majority often make the argument that only those who bother to vote should decide an issue. That logical sounding statement is really a red herring. The real issue is majority rule. Majority rule is the foundation of the American electoral system.

Before the Double Majority, we had tyranny by a small activist minority. Here's why:

Currently, there are four election dates every year; one in March, May, September, and November.

Voter turnout in General Elections, which are held in November of even numbered years, is usually well above 60 percent. Turnout for regular May primaries, is typically less than 40 percent and is heavily slanted towards the party with the "hottest" primary races.

Turnout in the other six election dates is commonly in the 15-20 percent range.

Before the Double Majority, governments liked to put their unpopular tax increases on the ballot in those other six elections. They needed low voter turnout to win.

Before the Double Majority, people wondered how all those new taxes were passing when no one they know voted for them. Truth is, almost no one did. With eighteen percent voter turnout, it only takes nine percent of the voters, plus one, for a small minority to pass a tax increase on everyone else. Ninety-one percent didn't vote for the tax, but still it passed.

The Double Majority ended politicians' sneaky strategy for passing tax increases that most taxpayers did not support.

Measure 56 takes us back to the un-American practice of allowing huge tax increases passed by only 10 percent of the voters. Please vote "No."

(This information furnished by Tim Rohrer, Oregon Tax Payers United.)


Argument in Opposition

State Senator Larry George Urges a "No" Vote
To Keep Our Quorum

Measure 56 eliminates the vital Constitutional "quorum" requirement during "off-year" elections, which will shift power to special interest minorities and allow them to make decisions for all Oregonians.

Why is the quorum requirement important?

Oregon's Constitution requires during non-general elections a quorum (or majority) of voters must vote before property taxes can be raised. This requirement was put in place to prevent politicians from putting unpopular tax increases on the ballot during March, May, September and other "off-year" election dates – when most Oregonians do not realize an election is going on. Changing the constitution would allow a minority of voters to make decisions that should be made by a majority.

Why would politicians want to avoid the Constitutional requirement?

There are numerous local taxing districts that would like to spread proposed tax increases over different elections to hide the whole picture from you. Under current Constitutional requirements most proposed tax increases occur during the General Election when most people vote. Voters see all the proposed tax increases at the same time – and can make educated decisions. Measure 56 will spread these tax increases over 4 elections, making it difficult to get the full impact the tax increases will have on you and your family.

The Oregon Legislature Undermines Your Initiative System With Measure 56

The language describing Measure 56 on your official ballot was not written in a non-biased, non-partisan manner like Oregon law outlines. The Legislature circumvented the statutory process to write the ballot title in a partisan, political process, in an attempt to deceive Oregon voters.

As an Oregon State Senator and Oregonian I am very concerned how the majority of the Legislature is corrupting the "official ballot language" and using the process to write political messages. By corrupting the official ballot title, it is difficult for Oregon voters to trust a measure that is referred to them from the Legislature.

(This information furnished by Senator Larry George.)