Oregon Voter Approval of Taxes by Certain Approval Percentage, Measure 93 (2000)

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The Oregon Voter Approval of Taxes by Certain Approval Percentage Amendment, also known as Measure 93, was on the November 7, 2000 ballot in Oregon as an initiated constitutional amendment, where it was defeated. The measure would have required approval by no less than the percentage of voters approving this measure for new or increased taxes, fees or charges.[1]

For example, if this measure passes by sixty percent, it will require sixty percent approval of future taxes, fees and charges. It also requires a refund of certain past collections.

Voter approval of new and increased taxes, fees and charges can be given only at the biennial general election or at an annual election if the legislature permits approval of statewide initiatives at that election. However, simple majority approval is required to renew certain police, fire, and 911 levies and for state gas tax increases. All ballots, including those that propose fee and charge increases, must state "A 'Yes' vote on this measure is a vote to increase taxes."

Affected charges range widely from photocopy fees, to parking fees, to sewer and water charges. However, the measure exempts a variety of charges. Governments must refund voter approved levies and other fees lawfully imposed or increased more than three percent after December 6, 1998 unless they are exempt or approved by a simple majority of voters at the next election.

This measure permits the state to impose temporary charges for not more than one year without voter approval. State temporary charges must be: for a specific purpose, approved by a three-fourths vote of each house of the Legislative Assembly, and signed by the Governor.

The measure also permits local government emergency taxes for not more than one year if the Governor declares a local emergency.[2]

Results

Oregon Measure 93 (2000)
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No865,09159.82%
Yes 581,186 40.18%

Election results via: Oregon Blue Book

Ballot title

Amends Constitution: Voters Must Approve Most Taxes, Fees; Requires Certain Approval Percentage[3]

Proponents

Bill Sizemore and Becky Miller

Support

[4] Supporters of the measure favor having more control over their own money and how the government spends it. Oregon Taxpayers United said the measure sends a clear message to elected officials: "It's our money. If you want more of it, from now on you'll have to ask us first."

Supporters also favored having the ballot title require an obvious statement of whether a measure increases taxes, so the public would know exactly what they are voting for.

Those who supported the measure were eager to point out that those against the measure are, obviously enough, big government groups and politicians.

Others opposed to the measure are:

  • Libertarian Party of Oregon
  • Taxpayer Protection PAC
  • Bruce Alexander Knight, Libertarian for US House of Representatives, District 3
  • Atlas Oregon

Opposition

[5] The opposition argued that special districts such as fire districts, ambulance districts, 9-1-1 emergency communication districts, health & hospital districts, parks & recreation districts, library districts, water districts, and more would be affected by the measure. They also point out that people will be asked to vote on a lot of very small issues, such as overdue book fines at libraries, and ask voters to think about "who will pay for all these special district elections?" The taxpayers.

The welfare of libraries was a primary concern for those opposed, saying that the measure will force them to start over again and could invalidate many of their measures, which have already been passed. The Oregon Library Association said of the possible new elections, "Even then, libraries could still lose. Under Measure 93, voters would have to pass their local library funding measures by at least the same margin as Measure 93 gets in November."

Many opposed thought the measure would make the election process much more complicated, and some felt that it violated Majority Rule, a basic value of American democracy, by requiring a "super majority."

Some others opposed to the measure are:

  • Jim Hill, Oregon State Treasurer
  • Oregon Parks Association
  • Oregon Mayors' Association
  • Association of Corrections Employees
  • Oregon State Fire Fighters Council
  • Sheriffs of Oregon
  • League of Women Voters of Oregon

See also

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References


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