How I’m Voting on Local Ballot Questions

In this post, I discuss the questions on my ballot that aren’t statewide questions. I will tell you how I’m voting and why I’m voting the way I’m voting.

Metro Question 26-199

Even though my property taxes will rise, I’m voting yes on Metro question 26-199.

Metro question 26-199 is another question trying to dedicate more revenue toward the affordable housing problem. Under 26-199, the average homeowner would see their property taxes rise by 60 dollars a year to fund bonds that would be used to construct more affordable housing. According to Metro, the new housing would focus on homes for low-income families, seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities.

Portland Question 26-200

I’m voting yes on Portland question 26-200.

Portland question 26-200 is a question seeking to limit the amount of money corporations, unions, and individuals can contribute to political campaigns. It also encourages candidates to participate in the City’s campaign finance system. Perhaps the most important part of 26-200 is that it increases disclosure requirements related to political contributions.

You may have read that much of 26-200 is unconstitutional thanks to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling. While that is sadly true, voting yes on 26-200 is still important. The rules forcing political campaigns to disclose their sources of contribution makes the question worth a yes vote. Also, it gets the voters of Portland on the record in support of meaningful campaign finance reform.

Portland Question 26-201

I’m voting yes on Portland question 26-201.

Question 26-201 adds a one percent tax to businesses with at least a billion dollars of annual revenue and $500,000 of revenue generated in Portland. In other words, don’t believe the lies about 26-201 being a tax on small businesses. Most businesses involved in the sale of food, medicine, or that provide health care have been exempted from the tax proposed in 26-201.

The revenue generated by 26-201 will be used to fund clean energy programs throughout Portland and to create job training programs.

So, the issue around 26-201 is a simple one: should huge companies have to pay a tiny bit more money so we can have cleaner air, cleaner water, more jobs, and more job training?

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