(and their relationship to local taxes)

 

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Anybody who doesn’t think times are tough in our economy has been living in the depths of a very deep cave or they’ve been smoking something that’s very illegal.

There have been a lot of jobs lost through the down-sizing of businesses and by businesses shutting down completely.

The State of Oregon has increased public jobs by approximately 6,000 while the private employers have lost over 130,000 jobs.

It’s pretty easy to understand the concept that you need the taxes from the private sector to pay the taxes to support the public sector.  If the current trend continues, there is a solid brick wall that will be hit where there just aren’t enough private sector taxes to support the public sector.

For the last 10 years, as a member of the Washington County Budget Committee, I have insisted – and there has not been – an increase in the General Fund portion of the county budget.  The General Fund comes from your basic property taxes – you should not confuse this with special levies which voters have approved.

I have specific plans for improving the job opportunities in Washington County.  I’m not talking about tax dependent jobs – public employees – I’m talking about tax revenue enhancing jobs – private sector employees.

Here’s a pretty simple concept:  The more people working, the less the burden on each person individually.  What’s easier:  1 person holding up 100 pounds or 10 people holding up the same 100 pounds.

My plans aren’t rocket science – they’re common sense and being done elsewhere:

First, let’s give some temporary business licensing relief to existing businesses and for new businesses, let’s have either just a nominal registration fee or waive the first year’s license fee.

Second, our community is rich in people who volunteer for the benefit of their community.  I will start a business advisory committee, made up of small business owners, to find out directly from those most affected how the County can help them and if there is anything in current County operations that is impacting them negatively.  If the County is having a negative impact I want to know and I want to know what can be done to change that.

Third, I will convene another group of volunteers to contact those persons who have shut down their businesses in the last two years and to find out what, if anything, the County may have been able to do to save those jobs.

Addressing the job health of Washington County is one of my very highest priorities.