Wednesday, September 14, 2005

They will never stop

Read in the Oregonian today that local school leaders are trying to figure out how to package an income tax for schools that voters will accept.

Former Portland Superintendent Jim Scherzinger is spearheading the effort. According to the story he sent out info to local school districts outlining different prospective rates and how much each district would receive from it.

He's trying to downplay how far along they are, but apparently they are considering having the Metro government be the taxing authority, and the rate would be between .2% and .5%.

This is pretty amazing. They want to get hammered again? Make our day. Put it on the ballot.

I have a different idea. Why can't we approach it this way? Want more money for schools? I've got a suggestion.

It occured to me one day when my local district was pushing a local option tax, and a neighbor who supported the tax said that she thought local districts should have the right to tax themselves more if they so choose.

I thought: you don't really want the right to tax yourself more - you can do that any time you want by sending money straight to the district. Rather, you want to force the people who don't want to pay the tax to pay the tax, using majority rule.

Yes, I understand that majority rule is how we decide such things inour society, but does it always have to be? Maybe there is another way that would raise money for schools without forcing a tax down peoples throats who do not support it.

Here's how it would work:

School district proposes to raise (just to choose a number) $10 million a year through an increased property tax. Only those who vote yes will have the tax added to their property tax statement. The more people who vote yes, the lower the tax assessment on each voter's property.

The district could propose a minimum level of support below which the tax would fail. The campaign, then would be to maximize the number of yes votes in order to distribute the burden among the most taxpayers. But a no vote won't pay the tax at all. Nobody forces anything on anybody.

What is wrong with this?


Anonymous said...


It's time for you to move out of Portland. THAT's the way to avoid the tax.

(poor guy)

Anonymous said...

Another tax to support the bloated Portland Public Schools?

Another tax that will reach deep into the pockets of overtaxed Multnomah County residents and not into classrooms, but into the PERS accounts of administrators, more administrators, and more administrators.

Give me a break about those "poor children." The children won't see one SECOND of teaching come from an increased tax. But PPS staff will get fatter PERS accounts.

Ever take a look at the cars parked at Portland Public Schools HQ on N. Dixon? Lexus. Jaguar. Range Rover. BMW. Don't believe me? Drive over there and take a look for yourself! And most of those expensive vehicles have "Bush Lied", or "Kerry/Edwards" bumper stickers. What a tacky ornament for such nice cars!

Ever look at who is running Portland Public Schools? One of their dozens of PR flacks is Sarah Carlin Ames, a leftist who worked with flaming Marxist Liz Kaufman to pass the Itax in the first place. Talk about your conflict of interest!

Lew Frederick, another PPS flack, is a lead organizer of DFO, a Marxist whacko bunch of Deaniacs who just hijacked the State Democratic Party.

If a few pennies do make it into PPS classrooms, they will be used to teach grade school kids all about "social justice", and radical environmentalism. Or they will be used to give homework to grade school kids to go door to door in their neighborhood to oppose Measure 36 (this was an actual assignment!).

Talk about lying. The proponents of the Itax, as usual, LIED when they said it was only temporary".

Remmber folks, these leftists always lie about taxes. And they don't care about you or your children. They only care about their wallets, the radical cause, and teaching anti-American hatred to your kids.

Chris McMullen said...

Just spoke to a co-worker today about his kids who go to the same Beaverton middle school as mine. He didn't realize that not only is there a school Principal, but two vice principals, three councilors, a "youth contact social worker" (whatever that is) and a psychologist.

That equates to about $1,000,000 right there in salary and bennies -- right off the top. I can't image what the teachers total take it is.

Problem is, parents and taxpayers in general blindly go through life not realizing the rampant waste and abuse in our schools and public agencies.

People need to wake up and start getting involved.

MAX Redline said...

Yes, now that the "temporary" ITAX is going away, the scramble is on to come up with another tax.

Only an idiot would not have seen this coming. Oh. Yeah, they all voted for the "temporary" tax last time around. So you can count on them doing it again.

And the beauty of making it a "regional" tax is that the idiots who voted in the last one (Portland) have enough numbers to force everyone in the tri-county area to pay up.

gus miller said...

Portland District 1J is the only budgetary basket case in the "region". They promised to clean up their act if only the taxpayers would pass the i-tax in 2003. They did not clean up their act. The Portland Association of teachers refuses to negotiate in good faith when contracts expire.

Portland district 1J needs a new supplier of teaching services and a more economical and flexible collective bargaining agreement.

Question is, will the city and county Democrat leaders allow the district to replace the Portland Association of Teachers?

Rob Kremer said...

Fat chance that will happen, Gus.
Which of the current board members do you think will stand up to the teachers union?

Although I totally agree that district's fiscal problem = union problem.

gus miller said...

The union problem is really an "iron triangle problem", Rob. The union could not get away with its delaying tactics in collective bargaining without the support of their state and local political allies and the more influential parents who are being well served in the district's better schools.

Add to that triangle a media group that is loyal to the status quo in public education,in part I suspect, because many of them are parents and dependent on their public schools.

Karen said...

Truth be told, the only way to avoid the I tax is to move. That's what we did. Now we're scared that the brilliant money managers in Portland are going to push their scheme on those of us in Clackamas County. And, last time I checked, our schools in L.O. are doing just fine. We've even got the high school being improved! And, I can visually see where my tax money is going, and it's not going into the black hole of PPS.

Unfortunately, many of the people who support the tax increases are middle/lower income families who likely don't pay much in taxes anyway. And a renter certainly is going to vote for a property tax because they don't pay the property tax.

Unfortunately, we have a small business in Portland, so we'll likely be hit by some tax scheme to "save" the schools.

How can we fix this mess?

gus miller said...

"How can we fix this mess?"

We first have to define what the mess consists of. I suggest the "mess" is centered in Portland District 1J. (Budget overextended. Caused by the refusal of teachers to bargain in good faith when contracts are up for renewal. Overextended budgets enabled by city and county politicians chipping in "temporary" money to alleviate teacher strikes, which rolls up labor costs beyong revenue coming in from Salem. Complicated further as wage increases are demanded in each new contract negotiation. A further complication is costly and inflexible hiring and work rules in the collective bargaining agreement which are always set aside in last minute negotiations to alleviate strikes.)

Solution: Elect a Portland school board that is willing to draw the line on labor costs and communicate to the public the way the "mess" has been compounding since 1992 when bad faith collective bargaining started and since 1996 when local politicians, the media and community leaders began giving in to emotional blackmail in the form of, slowdowns, threatened strikes and strike votes in the middle of school years.