Reports to Government Waste hotline up 35%

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Oregon Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins released the annual report on Oregon’s government waste hotline. In 2015, the hotline received 243 initial reports. This continues an upward trend: there were 180 reports in 2014, 154 in 2013, and 145 in 2012. Data prior to 2011 is not comparable due to changes in the reporting system. Nearly half (47%) of 2015’s reports involved state agencies; the other reports involved local government entities. Continue reading

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Oregon: #1 Tax and Spend State in the West

Oregon state & local government spend more per capita in the West and more than 39 other states.   You can compare on the chart below.

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Nearly 80% of Oregonians blind to PERS disaster

chart-pers-pollPoll: 78% unaware of PERS disaster
By Taxpayer Association of Oregon Foundation

Oregon’s public employee retirements system (PERS) is now a staggering $20-$22 billion in unfunded liability. Just this week it was announced that it grew by another $3 billion and made front page news. A 2015 telephone poll of 300 Oregonians by the Taxpayer Association of Oregon Foundation showed that the public is clueless to this gigantic PERS debt hole which will consume state and local budgets for police, fire and schools.

The Foundation asked Oregonians how big Oregon’s public employee unfunded liability is. Nearly half (43%) had no idea. Over a third 34% guessed below the actual amount (1-to-5 billion 9.3% or 5-to-10 billion 24.7%). Less than a quarter of Oregonians (22.7%) guessed correctly that the PERS debt was over $10 billion. Continue reading

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Taxpayer Foundation in the news exposing $100,000 wasted on city hall TV

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Taxpayer Foundation researcher Richard Leonetti was on KATU-TV over Hillsboro paying $100,000 for a jumbo-tron TV.

KATU-TV News transcript — Dec. 10 2015:  The City of Hillsboro spent more than $110,000 on a large television display used during city council meetings at the Shirley Huffman Auditorium at the Hillsboro Civic Center.”If you ‘re attending the city council meeting, you’re going to be able to look up here and see the document that is going to be discussed or an historic photo,” City of Hillsboro spokesperson Patrick Preston said. “If you ‘re attending the city council meeting, you’re going to be able to look up here and see the document that is going to be discussed or an historic photo.”  Richard Leonetti with the Taxpayer Foundation of Oregon believes the city should have gone with a much less expensive tool. Continue reading

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Poll tests “Privacy vs. Security” debate

poll-nsaAn Oregon poll examines at a hot-button issue to gauge where Oregonians stand on privacy & liberty against the needs of security & law enforcement. Continue reading

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Oregon regions seeing above average growth

logo-oregoneconomicforumUniversity of Oregon Regional Economic Indexes
Press Release provided by Tim Duy
Oregon Economic Forum
University of  Oregon

Oregon Regional Economic Indicators:

October measures of economic activity were generally solid across all regions in Oregon.  Highlights of the report include:

  • Moving average measures of activity – which smooth monthly volatility – indicate that the Portland Metro, Eugene-Springfield, Salem and Central Oregon regions are growing near or above their average paces of activity, while the Rogue Valley is just somewhat below normal growth.
  • Residential housing sales were strong throughout the state in October, although that activity still is not translating into widespread gains in new residential construction. Residential permits contributed positively to the Portland metro figures, nearly neutral in Central Oregon, and sharply negatively in the Rogue Valley and Salem areas.
  • Employment indicators were generally supportive with most sectors contributing positively. In addition, the unemployment rate and civilian labor force now yield a neutral to positive impact across all measures.
  • Also note that low levels of unemployment claims are adding significant contributions to the measures and are indicative of continued strong job growth. In general, conditions across the state continue to improve as the recovery broadens and deepens throughout more sectors of the economy.

Reminder:  The regional measures are prone to potentially large swings due to the volatility of some of the underlying data, particularly measures of employment.  The moving average measures smooth out much of that volatility.

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Big 25th Birthday Party for Measure 5

Nearly 200 people showed up to the Portland Airport Shilo Inn to celebrate the 25th Birthday of Measure 5 on December 2nd.   The cake read “You saved our home” Without Measure 5 your property taxes would be 40% higher!

mez5photo-cake Continue reading

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