REDMOND, OR -- The January 23rd Special Election is only weeks away, and there's a lot of conversation about it's lone petition, Measure 101, which would approve temporary assessments to fund health care for low-income individuals and stabilize health insurance premiums.
The Redmond Patriots are hosting a panel tonight to discuss the issue at Highland Baptist Church in Redmond.
Patriots Chair, Bob Perry, says Measure 101 should earn a no-vote because it's unfair to small businesses. "The feeling is, this is a tax that should be rejected because of the way it was structured. It was really designed to penalize the people who don't have a lobbyist in Salem, which is a real shame."
As it is now, Perry says, if Measure 101 passes, large Oregon corporations like Nike and Intel would not be subject to the tax assessments, only individuals and businesses that employ fewer than 50 people.
As one of the presenters, Perry says he will suggest voting 'No' because the way the Measure is written makes it an unfair tax - one small businesses and individuals would pay, while corporations would get a free pass. "It's very unfair, the way it's structured right now. It doesn't apply to big companies, but it applies to small businesses, any business under 50 people are going to have to pay this tax, but the big companies like Nike and Intel, are not going to be taxed."
Perry calls it an unfair tax because, he says, the people who'll have to pay for it are the least able to do so. "Public schools are going to have to take about $25 million out of classrooms to pay this tax, to be able to fund this program, as far as the healthcare, for their employees. Local governments are going to have to pay the tax. 12,000 college students who are already drowning in debt are going to have to pay the tax. But, the unions aren't going to pay the tax, the big companies aren't going to pay the tax. Basically, it's a matter of fairness."
Tonight's Redmond Patriots meeting begins at 6:30 at Highland Baptist Church ... it's open to the public.