The gubernatorial candidates for Oregon face a state with an uncertain economy, a wall of debt, declining revenues and an unemployment rate of 10.6 percent, a full percentage point more than the national average. 1859 Oregon’s Magazine caught up with John Kitzhaber, the Democratic candidate and Chris Dudley, the Republican hopeful, to ask them, what they see as the greatest challenge facing Oregon.
Oregon schools are funded through two mechanisms: the State School Fund, carved primarily from state personal income tax, and local property taxes from homes, businesses and other properties within a school district’s boundaries. The majority of Oregon’s tax revenue (82%) comes from personal income tax, which is a volatile basis for education funding.
An interview with Oregon’s LEED-ing lady and what’s next in sustainability. Christine Ervin was the first president and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council—home of LEED and Greenbuild. Under the Clinton administration, she was the Assistant Secretary of Energy overseeing $1 billion in annual investments for clean energy. Today she runs her own consulting firm, e/co.
Brian Druker runs up the steep approach of Marquam Hill to OHSU nearly every morning from his home in southwest Portland. For many Oregonians, this feat alone would be a daunting task. For the 54-year-old doctor, whose fringe approach to leukemia research is now the center of the search for a cure, running is the transportation mode that keeps his brain most active.
Oregon is one of five states that has no sales tax, thus making this topic a biennial favorite when the state budget is in critical condition. State services typically ride the boom/bust cycle with the two-legged property and income tax. Oregon Democrats and Republicans alike have argued for a more stable tax base to fund our public school system, which is often the biggest loser. A sales tax may never happen in this state, but the debate continues to shape this debate for 1859.