To the Editor:
Today I would like to expound upon the current property tax system. In the 1990s, we the people voted in property tax limitations. This was accomplished by passing measures 5 and 50. Measure 50 was passed in 1997 to further restrict taxing districts and close some of the loopholes that these districts were skirting in Measure 5. If these measures were not passed, property taxes per capita in Oregon would be well over 10 percent. At the most recent rural fire district board meeting, I was criticized for my letter to the editor in the Jan. 16 edition of this newspaper. For the record, I have had way more positive feedback than critics. Note also the past fire chief's letter in a later edition of the Eagle. While I try not to make my views personal, I also cannot help but allude to one person or another, and I will not apologize for it. My point being, the loan the RFD inherited was not necessary. This loan was created by bad decisions involving all parties. People make these decisions and must be held accountable. It appeared to me that at this meeting they were insinuating that, if not for measures 5 and 50, they could balance their budget easier. While on the surface this is true, our citizens today would be paying more property taxes than state and federal income taxes combined (after deductions). This $168,000 loan, brought on by the cost overruns with the city of John Day totally complicit, was not done in the spirit of measures 5 and 50. To put it into context, I will use a quote I used in another article: These "intergovernmental exchanges of funds ... would put a drug cartel to shame."