Eugene’s ballot measure 20-302 limiting future city council’s ability to raise payroll taxes or use them for other expenses are reassuring steps but in the wrong direction. The measure funds mostly police (65 percent), fire, courts and prosecution totaling 90 percent, while vaguely lumping prevention together with homeless services at 10 percent. Curiously, administration costs are neither specified as a percentage nor capped by the ballot measure.
Why didn’t the City Council give voters the chance to replace their clearly regressive payroll tax rather than justify the scope of its draconian tax scheme? Let’s have property, capital gains, real estate transfer or even income tax instead!
Asking workers earning above $15/hour to lose about $150 a year from their paychecks while employers cough up $75 per employee is perhaps as regressive as a non-durable goods sales tax. It negatively impacts Eugene’s economy exclusively on the already burdened backs of unsalaried workers and their local businesses.