This paper will discuss the Oregon Corporate Tax "Kicker" Funds for Education Initiative and the reasons for its proposition and compares it with Oregon Gillnet Fishing Initiative and reasons for the opposition of this initiative and measure. The paper will thus explore the content of the two initiatives and the purpose for their formulations.
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Oregon Corporate Tax "Kicker" Funds for Education Initiative
The General Fund is used for financing schools, prisons, social services and other state-financed sectors. It is the requirement of the law that an automatic “kicker” refund of corporate income and excise tax revenue during the times when the revenue passes the approximated collections by at least 2% (Clucas, Henkels & Steel, 2005). This measure therefore intended to allocate the corporate income and excise tax “kicker” refund to the General Fund. This will be used as an additional source of funding for K through 12 public educations.
Those who voted “Yes” for the measure approved the allocation of the corporate income and excise tax “kicker” refund to the General Fund so as to support K through 12 public educations (LWVOR, 2013). On the other hand, those who voted “No” advocated for the retention of the existing corporate income and excise tax “kicker” that requires that any additional revenue collection beyond 2% are refunded to corporations. The result of the elections in relation to support and opposition to the measure indicated that 59.90 % voting yes for the initiative while 40.10% voted against the initiative (Hart, 2006).
The reason why the initiative was significantly supported was that it does not affect the personal “kicker” neither does it increase personal or corporate taxes. The proponents further argued that it was unreasonable to refund to corporations taxes that are legally due to inaccurate revenue projections. The measure is thus just an improvement of the present policy (Hart, 2006). The proponents further contended that the measure would facilitate efforts to keep “kicker” dollar within the Oregon economy rather than issuing tax credits to corporation that are located out of the state. This fund would thus provide additional funding so that 100% of the “kicker” goes to K-12 education. Besides, the Oregonians and Oregon businesses would benefit from keeping money in the state (LWVOR, 2013).
Oregon Gillnet Fishing Initiative
Current laws recognize Washington gillnet licenses as valid in both Oregon/Washington waters of Columbia River. The Oregon Gillnet Initiative prohibits commercial gillnet salmon fishing by the non-tribal Oregon fishers apart from certain designated areas located outside the mainstream of lower Columbia River. This measure does not however affect tribal fishing rights or the rights that are enjoyed by fishers in regard to the use of gillnets. A “Yes” vote for the initiative supports prohibition of commercial fishing that are currently acceptable under limited number of permits held by Oregon/Washington non-tribal fishers in the mainstream of Columbia River. A “No” vote on the hand would retain the present legal provisions thus allowing commercial fishing under restricted permits (Hart, 2006).
The results of the vote on the Oregon Gillnet Initiative indicated opposition to the measure. An overwhelming 65.50% voter opposed the initiative. Another 34.50% voted “Yes” for this initiative. Those who voted against the initiative argued that it would put Oregon fishermen out of business while on the other hand allowing Washington fishermen to continue with their business un-interruptedly (LWVOR, 2013). The supporters of the Oregon Gillnet Initiative argued that the failure of Oregon to protect and enhance wild salmon runs threatens the credibility of the state as the custodians and facilitators of sustainability of biodiversity and other resources.
The Oregon Corporate Tax "Kicker" Funds for Education Initiative and Oregon Gillnet Fishing Initiative were two significant measures in Oregon. So controversial were the proposals in these initiatives that the initiatives were put to vote. The Oregon Corporate Tax "Kicker" Funds for Education Initiative was approved while Oregon Gillnet Fishing Initiative was opposed with valid reasons justifying the outcomes of each measure.
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