‘Robin Hood’ plan in Oregon would tax the wealthy to raise money for public schools

Apr 12, 2013 by

SALEM, Ore. – The state’s largest teachers union has joined the Robin Hood craze.

Leaders of the Oregon Education Association are pushing state lawmakers to raise more tax revenue from wealthy individuals and corporations to fund public education and social welfare programs, according to a report from the Associated Press.

Their goal is to raise an extra $275 million per year, largely by limiting the amount of tax exemptions that individuals can claim and increasing the corporate minimum tax, the news report said.

Those targeted for higher taxes include individuals making at least $125,000 per year, couples making at least $250,000 per year and corporations earning more than $100 million per year.

Many people would consider the plan very stupid, for a lot of different reasons.

For starters, limiting tax exemptions is sure to put a dent in the amount of money that wealthy people give to charities. That would end up hurting a lot of poor and needy citizens – the very folks the unions claim to be most concerned about.

And it seems like every time new taxes are imposed to provide revenue for public schools, a high percentage of the money is spent on raises and benefits for union teachers. Schools are short of money right now, and many are struggling to meet student needs, so there’s no good reason for anyone to be getting any sort of raise.

We doubt that many Oregon districts have done everything possible to reduce labor costs, which often take up three-quarters of a school district budget. We’ve seen in many states that union concessions – voluntary or forced – can free up a lot of money that can be used for operational costs, without raising taxes.

And, quite frankly, the Robin Hood act is getting old. The unions figure they can get away with tax increases as long as they only target the wealthiest among us. How many people of average income will object to a plan that doesn’t affect them at all?

But public education benefits everyone, and it’s the responsibility of everyone. If new taxes are going to be imposed to support the schools, everyone should be asked to kick in something. How about a school tax based on use? Families with kids that have been enrolled in the schools would pay more than childless families. That would be logical and fair, wouldn’t it?

Not according to the unions. They insist on taxing wealthy people who already contribute more than their fair share to society, through taxes and job creation. That’s probably because they know that any tax bill targeting middle class families would be dead on arrival in the legislature.

They pick on the few, because the many won’t stand for it. The last time we checked that’s called bullying.

via ‘Robin Hood’ plan in Oregon would tax the wealthy to raise money for public schools – EAGnews.org :: Education Research, Reporting, Analysis and Commentary.

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