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Bussiness Alliance: Ballot Measure, Labor & Treasurer endorsements

September 27, 2012

By Portland Business Alliance

The Portland Business Alliance board of directors today announced its positions on a number of ballot measures and its endorsement of several candidates. A complete list is below. Dennis Rawlinson, chair of the Alliance’s board of directors and firm chair of Miller Nash, made the following statement about the Alliance endorsements: “With Portland-metro wages and incomes below the national level, the Alliance believes that except for specific education-related measures it is not the time to increase taxes on individuals or businesses. We looked at each measure with this belief in mind.

“Regarding our candidate endorsements, we interviewed the candidates for each office and reviewed their responses to our questionnaires in order to gauge their positions on the issues that impact private-sector job creation and retention. Our endorsements were based on the candidates’ commitment to support jobs.”

Ballot measure positions:
•Portland Public Schools construction bond: Support with comments
•Creative Arts Network income tax: Oppose
•Clackamas County voter approval of public rail expenditures: Oppose
•Elimination of state inheritance tax: Support

Candidate endorsements:
•State Treasurer: Ted Wheeler
•State Labor Commissioner: Bruce Starr
•Clackamas County Commission: Jamie Damon

The Alliance will make more candidate endorsements in October. Alliance board endorsements are based on a process that includes interviewing the viable candidates for the political office and presenting a recommendation to the board. Two-thirds of the board members present must agree before an endorsement is made.

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Bob Clark September 27, 2012

PBA is spot on in opposing the CAN income tax. I find it the absolute worst of the three local tax measures before Portland/Multnomah residents this November. Nearly half the tax revenues would go to the Regional Arts and Cutural Council (RACC). RACC is already flush in funding, with its revenues growing nearly 6% per year between the years 2006 and 2010; and last year, RACC’s 2011 annual report suggests funding went up as much as 17%.

The other half of the arts tax revenues is targeted for Schools arts and music classes, but even here the measure may very well fail to deliver. Portland Public Schools and the other districts could very well end up cutting back on arts and music spending on grades 6 through 12 while complying with the measure by adding arts and music spending for grades K through 5. Effectively, the school district can move the measure’s $6 million school funding from arts and music to other purposes. These purposes might include directing the $6 million to meeting escalating PERS costs; and or, the next time at the bargaining table, maybe the District(s) are able to be a bit more generous than otherwise.

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