Investing in the future

The general election is less than three weeks away, so the Torch has rounded up a couple of measures that could have a significant impact on education and other services in Oregon, specifically around Lane County.

Measure 98

This measure proposes separate funding aimed at new programs designed for high school dropout prevention and college readiness, by distributing roughly $800 per student. Measure 98 would get its funds from new revenue, but would not increase taxes. A “no” vote would keep the current law in place; no funds would be required to fund programs like college readiness, career/technical-level education, etc. In 2013, Oregon ranked the second lowest in public school graduation in the nation, at only 68.7 percent on average. Measure 98 has big support across the State including Gov. Kate Brown, former Gov. Ted Kulongoski and several parties and organizations, namely Vote Yes for 98 which raised $7.38 million. The Oregon Secretary of State did not have any filings against Measure 98.

Measures 20-253 and 20-261

Measure 20-253 would impose a 3 percent tax on recreational marijuana sales in Eugene, which would fund general government services. The tax would be collected by retailers at the time of sales and paid directly to the city. Measure 20-261 would impose a three percent tax on recreational marijuana sales in unincorporated areas of Lane County, which must also be voted on by incorporated areas such as Eugene, according to KVAL News. Eight other cities in Lane County have similar measures.

Measure 97

If approved, Measure 97 would impose a 2.5 percent tax increase on C corporations with sales of more than $25 million, with funds supposedly being allocated to education, healthcare and senior services. A “no” vote leaves Oregon with its current cap of $100,000 on corporations and no revenue dedicated to specific services. Measure 97 is setting records by raising the most money in the state’s history for a single measure — $35 million. The Torch reported on this measure previously, in the Oct. 5 edition.