Salem Rally June 6
On June 6, 2017, Interfaith Alliance members and Jessica Rojas of the NE Coalition joined a rally on the steps of the state house, sponsored by the Better Oregon Coalition, representing parents, students, teachers, nurses, small business owners, labor unions, social workers, the Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, economists, and other community advocates from every region in Oregon. Their message was simple. Oregon is in crisis and our children, our schools and colleges, small businesses, health care programs, the elderly and people in poverty need help now.
According to studies by the Tax Foundation and the Heritage Foundation, California (13.3%) and Oregon (9%) have the highest middle class tax in the nation. On the other hand, Oklahoma, Oregon, and North Carolina have the lowest corporate tax burdens in the nation.
More Oregon corporations are finding a way to avoid being subject to the state's corporate income tax, In 2004, 35,880 Oregon corporations filed income tax returns. By 2014, that number had dropped to 29,376.
With major cuts on the table due to the state’s $1.4 billion deficit speakers at the rally demanded that legislators take immediate action to address the need to make corporations pay their fair share.
WE CAN’T WAIT! the crowds shouted. INVEST IN PEOPLE, NOT CORPORATIONS!
"When we better fund education, health care and other critical services we improve the productivity and vitality of the our state," said Hanna Vaandering, the president of the Oregon Education Association. "We as a coalition refuse to accept cuts to services for students and those in need as long as corporations in Oregon are paying lower taxes here than anywhere else in the country."
Rev Mark Knudson, pastor of Augustana Lutheran Church in Portland said that our budget expresses the values of the people of Oregon and noted that a society is judged by the way in which they treat the most vulnerable among them, the children, the elderly, the poor, the sick, etc. Also educated, healthy people are good for our state’s economy.
He quoted from Martin Luther King, Jr. speech in which Dr. King said, “I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture of their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered men have torn down, men other-centered can build up. I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed, and nonviolent redemptive goodwill will proclaim the rule of the land.” B. Gregg