MultDems Call to Action: Keep Clean Energy Funding Intact!

As Oregonians, we shouldn’t have to pit schools against clean energy.

We deserve fully funded schools and clean energy jobs and initiatives. Unfortunately, an amendment to the Student Success Act (HB 3427) could damage the future of the Portland Clean Energy Fund (PCEF) and prevent other cities and counties from taking this kind of bold action.

What’s going on? A likely amendment to the Student Success Act (HB 3427) contains concerning language that could hurt the future of the Portland Clean Energy Fund (PCEF) and prevent other cities and counties from taking this kind of bold action through gross receipts surcharges or taxes.

Here’s the problem:

House Bill 3427, -15 amendments, Section 12 (scroll to page 17-18):

LOCAL TAX PREEMPTION

SECTION 12. Local taxes preempted.

(1) Except as expressly authorized by this section, the authority to impose, in this state, a tax upon the commercial activity of an entity is vested solely in the Legislative Assembly. A city, county, district or other political subdivision or municipal corporation of this state may not impose, by ordinance or other law, a tax upon commercial activity.”(2) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to any tax, or to the subsequent amendment of the provisions of any tax, if the ordinance or other law imposing the tax is in effect and operative on March 1, 2019.

If the bill passes with this clause intact, it won’t retroactively impact PCEF, but it could harm our ability to modify PCEF. And, it would take this important funding tool away from future progressive causes and initiatives throughout the state. We need to remove this language that concentrates power in the Legislature and takes it away from local communities.

Use the scripts below to call, email, or write your legislators in Salem.

CLICK HERE to find contact information for your state legislators.

CALL SCRIPT

My name is NAME, and I am a constituent in your district. I am contacting you  because I am concerned about a specific section of House Bill 3427, the Student Success Act.

(Put the following bullet points in your own words)

  • The bill will raise much needed revenue for education, but the 15 amendments contain a concerning provision.
  • SECTION 12 would preempt any local jurisdictions or citizen initiative petitions from raising revenue through gross receipts taxes or surcharges.
  • This sets a dangerous precedent that endangers local control over how to raise revenue and prevents citizens from making revenue decisions for their own communities.

If Section 12 remains in HB 3427, MY COMMUNITY wouldn’t be able to raise needed money for __(INSERT WHAT YOU WOULD WANT NEW LOCAL REVENUE TO FUND).

  • I urge you to protect the ability for our local community to make its own decisions about revenue and remove SECTION 12 from the bill
  • If they push back by saying that this is something other states have done with widespread revenue reform, answer by saying: “Legislative preemption over local jurisdictions is a worrying trend that Oregon should not be a part of. We must stand strong to support allowing our local communities to make  their own decisions about how to raise revenue.”

EMAIL/LETTER SCRIPT

Dear LEGISLATOR,

My name is NAME and I am a constituent in your district. I live (roughly where you live), and I voted for you in (YEAR if you voted for the legislator). I am writing to you today because I am concerned about a specific section of House Bill 3427, the Student Success Act.

Put the following bullet points in your own words:

  • The bill will raise much needed revenue for education, but the -1 amendments contain a concerning provision.
  • SECTION 12 would preempt any local jurisdictions or citizen initiative petitions from raising revenue through gross receipts taxes or surcharges
  • This sets a dangerous precedent that endangers local control over how to raise revenue and prevents citizens from making revenue decisions for their own communities.
  • If Section 12 remains in HB 3427, MY COMMUNITY wouldn’t be able to raise needed money for __(INSERT WHAT YOU WOULD WANT NEW LOCAL REVENUE TO FUND).

Legislative preemption over local jurisdictions is a worrying trend that Oregon should not be a part of. We must stand strong to support allowing our local communities to make their own decisions about how to raise revenue.

I urge you  to protect the ability for our local community to make our own decisions about revenue and remove SECTION 12 from the bill.

(Your Preferred Signoff)

NAME