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Sales tax first

Oregon already has one of the highest income taxes in the entire country. There is no way that I will vote for an income tax increase. Lower the income tax substantially and implement a sales tax so that everyone shares the burden, add a provision that requires the accountability of all money spent by lawmakers, and then you'll get my vote.

Why continually hit the poor working schmuck's pocketbook alone? Everyone who has purchasing power has an interest in keeping our ship afloat, so let's share this burden equally. Until then you can count me out.

Putting out forest fires with small buckets is totally inadequate, and Ballot Measure 30 is just a bucket. ' Patricia Dietz, Medford

Vote yes on 30

As a reflection of the party's commitment to a humanitarian approach to government, the Democratic Party of Oregon and the Jackson County Democratic Central Committee have both passed resolutions in support of the passage of Measure 30. We urge you to vote yes and save people's lives and protect our children from suffering. ' Wilbur L. (Bill) Layton, White City, chairman, Jackson County Democratic Central Committee

For 30, against taxes

I was ready to vote against Measure 30. Then I received a letter which claimed a household whose income was &

36;30,000 would pay &

36;27 more in taxes. It's worth &

36;27 to avoid the threatened cuts in education and services.

The problem is the cuts are extortion from a government that is fiscally irresponsible. I voted for the last tax/fee limitation initiative lest I not be able to pay my car registration fee. The governor will be back in a year or two with more threats and more extortion, just as he was two years ago. I will vote yes on Measure 30 to save our schools and services from the political gangsters but I will also vote for the next tax and fee limitation initiative in order to be free from governmental extortion. I hope it's soon! ' Chuck Michel, Eagle Point

Repeal initiative process

In the debate over Measure 30, tax opponents seem to be overlooking the principles established in the Constitution, which states The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes .... There is no suggestion that taxes should be subject to the voters' approval. The authors surely knew that if the people were able to vote on their taxes, then few taxes would ever be collected.

The initiative process is a direct assault on the principle of representative government, and in amending the state constitution to require approval of tax measures by the voters, the citizens of Oregon have guaranteed that their state government will never have enough funds to meet its needs, until this foolish amendment is repealed.

Perhaps the tax crusaders would approve of selling our roads, bridges and schools to private corporations, who could then charge appropriate fees for their use and maintenance. ' Desmond Armstrong, Jacksonville

Support Measure 30

I am urging my fellow Oregonians to step up and support Measure 30. While I sympathize with the anger I hear expressed toward Salem, it is selfish and shortsighted to take it out on the most vulnerable among us.

A yes vote helps to stabilize necessary programs, including schools, police and corrections, and medical needs for disabled people and seniors. Most of the new tax will come through cigarette taxes, closing unfair loopholes for profitable corporations and slight increases for the wealthiest people. Middle and low-income people will have minimal increases, if any at all.

The programs Measure 30 supports are good and necessary. There is no secret plan to fix our budget problems, and too many people will be hurt without this temporary tax. It is time to set our problems with Salem aside and vote yes to support our children, our communities and our future. ' Elizabeth Bingham, Ashland