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.
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.
Today, Union (population 1,960) is called ‘The City of Victorian Heritage’ after its cluster of Victorian era homes along Main Street. Classic brick buildings in its downtown core area, like the Union Hotel and the bus barn at the end of Main Street, are listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings making Union quintessential small town Oregon.
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.