Since the late 1990s, Oregon ballots that include a possible property tax hike have carried a warning in red type on the envelope.
House Bill 3113, filed at the request of the Oregon Education Association, would remove the warning, supposedly because it’s unnecessary. The union argues that the ballot itself contains all the needed information about such proposals, and the red type puts unfair attention on them, according to a report in The Oregonian. Critics say the union wants to lessen awareness of tax hike proposals and thus make them easier to pass.
Whatever the union’s reasoning, the fact is that voters need all the help they can get to focus on the measures they consider most important. Many do not have the time or interest to closely follow such matters, and measures that will cost them money certainly deserve extra attention.
Legislators should defeat HB 3113 because removing the warning is certainly unnecessary and likely would be damaging to voter participation.