Portland’s People’s Paradise Planners Say You Want Higher Taxes. Do You?

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The question is being asked here at the Portland Business Journal. Mayor Moonbeam and the Rainbow City Council could SWEAR you said yes to higher taxes.
Answer their questionnaire here.
See the question posed below:

Would you be willing to pay more taxes for transportation improvements?

Transportation is a major topic of discussion at this year’s Oregon Leadership Summit Dec. 3. Surveys taken earlier this year indicated that Portland residents would support paying more taxes for street repairs, including a hike in the gas tax. Earlier this week, transportation experts recommended building a new Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River, which could cost more than $4.2 billion.

Would you be willing to pay more taxes for transportation improvements?
Yes No
Undecided
Comments:
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12 thoughts on “Portland’s People’s Paradise Planners Say You Want Higher Taxes. Do You?

  1. Neat, let them try, I think we should be allowed to build private highways and charge people to drive on them, but that will never happen, so…..Let me tell you this. I have made a very successful hobby of not paying rediculous taxes to the government and investing the money saved and then using that money to donate to antiabortion causes. You people are so funny, you complain about HAVING to pay all these extra taxes, hey, get smart, read the tax laws, hire an attourney and an accountant, sit them down in the same room, and watch the savings add up. Easy. If people would just put in the effort to rid themselves of these burdens, we could actually put some attention into real issues. Oh wait, that might put sensationalist, hyperbolic media dealers out of business…So much for free markets.

  2. You know, if gas taxes and license fees actually went to enhancing vehicular traffic, instead of “calming” it, adding bike lanes, and funding alternative projects, then I’d actually be okay with a boost in the tax to underwrite major new projects.

    However, while one single cent of auto-only taxes and fees is being spent to hamper automobiles I will not support any new collections.

  3. Eddie,
    You mean confiscations, didn’t you?
    BTW: The People’s Planner’s Paradise of Portland has a $33 million dollar surplus this budget cycle. Do you suppose they’ll use that to build roads or fix the one’s they’ve got?

  4. BTW on this poll: don’t be surprised if your comments are excluded. I left a message with my vote yesterday and went back to see if had been posted. No,it hadn’t.
    Just FYI, they’re culling through them and posting only those they see fit to post.
    Geez, banned from two websites in one week!

  5. Would someone explain why they believe that all gas tax and licence fees must go to enhancing vehicular traffic?

    My income taxes are spent on programs which do not enhance my income. My property taxes go to programs which do not enhance my property. My hunting licence fees go to programs which limit/ control (calm) my ability to hunt.

    It does not seem to me that as a society we universally insist that the source of government revenue go to programs which support that source.

  6. Income taxes are meant to be a general revenue stream taken from a single point in the national economy for every purpose.

    Property taxes are supposed to go for civic expenses for maintaining and upgrading the local infrastructure that supports that property.

    Gasoline taxes were created to pay for roads and road maintenance because it was argued that raising general taxes for those purposes would be unfair to people who don’t use the roads…. Besides, it violates most people’s sense of fair play to collect money from a select group of people to use specifically against them. The problem here is that certain agencies have redefined road maintenance and “upgrades” to mean redesigning roads to be less usable by the autos and trucks paying the fees to maintain them.

  7. Thank you Eddie,

    I can appreciate that perspective, though I disagree that all property taxes go to support the infrastructure that supports a property (schools being the most obvious example). It seems that legislators try to get revenue from whichever source they can which will least offend the folks. Which I suppose is fine, because I am glad there are schools.

    I do have some thoughts about your phrase “redesigning the roads to be less usable by the autos and trucks.” As a motorist, I appreciate when a bike lane is added, as bicycle traffic no longer impedes my speed and so makes the road more usable to me, it also reduces the likelihood of an accident. When mass transit is funded, it may provide a means to transport people to/ from their desired location without using their car. Again, without that car on the same road as me, the road becomes more usable. When attractive affordable housing, commerce and employment are located in closer proximity for more people and the average auto trip gets shorter, there are less cars on the road, and the road becomes more usable to me.

    Thank you.

  8. Hey, jdfriberg, your intentions are commendable. However, when the Portland metro area, plus Clark County, was asked (via the ballot box) whether we actually wanted diversions of taxes from statutorially dedicated road construction and maintainence to mass transit and other non-traffic uses, the high-density-loving planners were told NO. Since then, the voters have been allowed no voice. The practical result is a disenfranchised electorate and BILLIONS of our tax dollars spent on projects that 98% of the population affected doesn’t (or is afraid to) use. As the City Circus Clowns (potter and his pals) have found, the streets are less safe. More congestion, and more crime, has resulted from higher densities. Forcing folks into closer proximity, and attempting to force them out of their freely chosen means of transportation doesn’t work. It never has. Europe’s standard of living is low, and their economic engine is weak. Free choice to spend is limited by what individuals earn. Socialist societies must give up LOTS of the benefits we enjoy as a free nation. One of those benefits is move about freely, by whatever means we choose, and can afford. Americans prefer cars and airplanes. Too bad for the socialists.

    The planners wish to force us into a lower standard of living, disguised as utopia. “Attractive, affordable housing” is for everyone willing to set goals and work hard. Don’t join the socialists in demanding that those who DO work hard to attain goals should fund those unwilling to help pull the wagon. Check out the utopian failure in the first few years of the Colonies. The planners don’t get to define for me those items which are “for my own good.”

    Now those planners are in a pickle. Bicycle riders are dying, roads and other vital infrastructure are continuing to deteriorate, crime is demonstrably out of control, they STILL claim that we don’t hand over more of our hard-earned wages, and the idiots can’t understand why the electorate is disgusted with them. Ask pointless potter about HIS second term election plans. What the planners are attempting to do is make car travel so onerous and expensive that we will embrace cattle-car-transit. It hasn’t worked. I moved my family away from that thug-infested, socialist rabbit warren years ago. We now live comfortably among our friends and neighbors on 20 acres. Why? Because it’s a free country. The question my friends and I have is, why does that concept upset and befuddle the planners?

  9. Thank you bear.

    I hear what you are saying, and tend to be frustrated at the seeming lack of listening on the part of many public servants.

    I think that the great benefit of capitalism is that it allows and encourages anyone to work hard and improve their own standard of living. I see the primary failing of socialism being that it assumes the best in all people, and I think that we’re all a bit too self-motivated for that to work well.

    And I too am working toward having my acrage in the country. (Though when I retire, I sure like the notion of living in a condo within walking distance of most all of my destinations.) So you and I will continue to take care of ourselves and our families.

    What I am trying to think of is what are we going to do with/ for everyone else. What are we going to do with legal road users who choose not to or cannot drive a car (pedestrians, cyclists, handsome cabs, slow moving farm equipment)? What are we going to do with people who do not/ cannot earn a living wage or a homebuying wage?

    I tend to approach this from a charitable perspective, but even from a selfish perspective, if we don’t do something, then they make our lives worse.

    Thank you.

  10. Hey, jdfriberg, Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    I must disagree with you on some basic premises. Socialism does not assume the best in people. It assumes that nobody except those in charge are capable of knowing anything, particularly how to care for their own needs. Thus the term “nanny state.”

    You do understand this process in the example of puttering potter and his pals. It’s not that they aren’t listening, it’s that they believe they are the smartest people in the room, and can’t let the “peasants” spoil the grand plan they have for us. Why else would the electorate be denied a vote on massive public spending projects? Projects which are intended to re-engineer the lifestyle of an entire region.

    As far as socialism not working well, you’re right. The most socialistic countries or regions are where we find devolving standards of living, and high crime. Criminals flock to high density areas run by socialistic governments because they know that there will be less social stigma and less punishment for their activities. A criminal fleeing towards Idaho stopped before crossing the border and came back to the police officers on the Oregon side, explaining that he’d find easier punishment here.

    Blue cities are where we find the largest number of folks dependent upon the nanny state to care for them. Government programs are designed to create and maintain dependence, not help folks become more self-reliant. Victim-hood is promoted.

    As for those unable to care for themselves, our society has always stepped up to provide for them.

    Those individuals who choose to force their political agenda on all of us, without allowing the democratic process to prevail, should be opposed. If someone wants to ride a bicycle, they should obey the law by riding safely. The Portland mayor should not allow a minority of citizens to force the vast majority of others to stop driving. This is the stated intention of the bicycle lobby. They are wrong.

    Your question is “what do we do with/for everyone else?” We encourage them to adopt the proven concepts laid down by our country’s founders. Most of the problems and deficiencies encountered by the socialists are the result of their own bad choices, enabled by other socialists willing to create and exploit their perception of helplessness. Hence the nanny state. Good choices are available, and some bad choices can be corrected, but I refuse to sympathize with those who refuse to participate in their own path to well-being. I also don’t sympathize with those who seek to exploit the bad choices of others in order to attain and maintain political power.

    As to prosperity, if you don’t earn it, don’t expect to have it handed to you. This country’s founders, through our Constitution, guaranteed opportunity, not success. That, my friend, is up to each of us.

  11. jdfriberg,
    I understand your point except that transportation taxes were promised to go to transportation needs and most of the needs belong to those of drivers.

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