From the dysfunctional state of Oregon comes news that Measure 66 fell about 50% short of its revenue predictions. Balance that with 4.75% pay hikes and it adds up with a continuing refusal by Oregon to address its problems.
Oregon Grants Unions 4.75% Pay Hike
A step pay increase of nearly 5 percent for Oregon state workers represented by unions goes into effect Wednesday. The 4.75 percent increase will cost the state as much as $16 million through the end of the two-year budget period.
Measure 66 Falls Short
Early indicators suggest the state won’t receive nearly as much as officials expected from a tax increase on wealthy Oregonians — raising questions of whether January’s bitterly fought election was worth it.
The latest numbers show Measure 66, which set higher tax rates on households making more than $250,000 a year, and on individual filers making half that, has brought in about $70 million in additional collections to date.
“We’re thinking we’re right around half of what we expected about this time,” said Paul Warner, head of the Legislative Revenue Office.
Here’s the deal. Oregon raised taxes for the benefit of unions and now they have to raise taxes again because the state only got half as much revenue from the tax hike as expected. When does the madness stop?
I have written about Oregon a lot recently.
August 22, 2010: Dysfunctional Oregon
Sight unseen, I am willing to state that Oregon should get rid of all 64 state boards, no matter what they are supposed to do. Sight seen, it’s time Oregonian voters relegate Gov. Ted Kulongoski to the ash heap of history.
Overoptimism Oregon Style
In July of 2009 state revenue projections were $222.8 million to the plus side. Now just one year later, smack in the midst of a “recovery”, a $577.2 million June 2010 deficit is too optimistic by as much as another $500 million.
Congratulations of sorts go to Oregon for winning the blue ribbon for unfounded optimism.
Oregon has already cut state spending by 9%. Another 9% may be on the way.
We can now add Measure 66 to the list of overoptimistic misses in Oregon.
Edge of the Financial Chasm
July 25, 2010: Edge of Financial Chasm
Four Problems Oregon Faces.
- Problem 1: Our income is shrinking
- Problem 2: We have more people in need
- Problem 3: We’ve locked up a lot of money
- Problem 4: We can’t grow our way out
End of the Line for Meaningful Can-Kicking Delays
When it comes to state budgets, the low lying fruit has been picked. Indeed all the fruit has been picked and next year’s harvest has been spoken for as well. Thus it’s the end of the line for state’s ability to kick the can down the road in a meaningful way, if employment does not dramatically pick up soon.
Here’s a hint: it won’t.
Oregon Taxpayers at Huge Risk over PERS
If we finish the year here the system will only be 70% funded. Pray tell what happens if the stock market finished the year down a modest 15% and is flat next year?
Notice the article says “Actual pension rates vary by individual employer”. Although the rates will vary, it is not “employers” who pick up the tab. Rather it is taxpayers who have to pay taxes to pick up the tab.
If articles like the one quoted explained things properly, there would be much more needed outrage.
The system is broke and the only way to fix it is to get rid of it. Defined benefit plans at taxpayer expense have to go.
Oregon Faces Decade of Budget Deficits
A study conducted by Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski shows that Oregon will not be bailed out by a rebounding economy, assuming of course the economy rebounds at all.
Oregon Overestimates the Recovery, Underestimates What Needs to be Done
My sense is that states are all overestimating what the recovery will do. That aside, Oregon is a step ahead of others in realizing the recovery alone will not fix the problem.
The report made no recommendations even though it is crystal clear what needs to happen. For starters, the state needs to kill defined benefit plans for new hires. Next, the state needs to outsource everything possible with the goal of getting rid of all public unions.
Anything else is just pecking at the fringes of the problem.
Business Owners Move Out
January 27, 2010: Oregon’s Death Spiral; Business Owners Say “I’m moving out”
On Tuesday, unions in Oregon won a charred earth victory that will drive already troubled Oregon, straight off the cliff.
Oregon voters passed Measure 66 which raises tax rates on individuals who earn more than $125,000 and couples with incomes greater than $250,000. Voters also passed Measure 67 which increases business taxes.
Complete fools in Oregon just voted to save bloated union salaries and pensions, while driving away the real source of tax revenue, private business.
Unions that take hold of states inevitably wreck them. Oregon should take a good hard look in the mirror. It will see a reflection of Michigan. Good luck with that.
Look’s like that was a decent call on Measure 66.
Increased taxes will drive away business. For whose benefit are these tax hikes? Unions that need to be eliminated. Oregon’s problems cannot and will not go away as long as political pandering to unions continues.
Public union salaries and benefits are Oregon’s biggest problem.
A tip of the hat to Oregon Live for excellent articles on the economic plight of Oregon.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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