Over the Edge

Lane County’s homeless population increases by about 130 per month. It is the cost of housing and living in general, imposed by government, which is a principal cause of homelessness. Zoning restrictions, building codes, permit fees and trade restrictions make construction of unsubsidized “affordable housing” impossible.

Increased taxes on transportation, fuel, license fees, franchise fees and utility costs, coupled with a compounded 3-percent annual increase in property taxes, an endless sequence of bond measures and a usurious 16-percent interest on delinquent property taxes, all of which “fly under the radar” of the CPI, push those on the edge over the edge.

With a health care system designed to enrich the medical/industrial complex while bankrupting the patient, the primary causes for the housed becoming un-housed are fairly evident. Generally, they are omitted from discussion. Efforts to provide for the homeless population are welcome and well overdue, but only by acknowledging and addressing the many causes of homelessness can remediation succeed.

Instead of recognizing the situation and finding ways to make city operations efficient enough to provide needed services with the substantial taxes already collected, Eugene has exacerbated the situation by imposing yet another tax on its residents and businesses.

Marc Shapiro