The governor has proposed, and many people are talking about, the need for the state to revamp its tax kicker program, which returns revenue in excess of what was budgeted to the taxpayers in the form of a rebate. In 2000, voters put the kicker into the state Constitution. Any changes proposed by the Legislature would need to be ratified by voters.
The state needs a dependable rainy day fund, one that could help the state through budget crises like the one we’re in — the same one that resulted in tax increases that were referred to and approved by voters Jan. 26. Reforming the kicker so that some of it goes to a rainy day fund sounds logical, but the reality is that Oregonians aren’t likely to support such a constitutional amendment. To most Oregonians, the kicker has become an entitlement, and they are not likely to give it up. At least not now, when times are extremely tough for many families.
The day might come when a majority of Oregonians see the light on the kicker, but 2010 is not that year. It’s unlikely the Legislature can come up with any substantive reforms of Oregon’s unbalanced tax system during the February special session. Incentives for job creation need to be a focus, say in the form of tax credits. But long-term solutions aren’t likely to be forthcoming.
And neither should an attempt to rewrite the kicker law. The time is just not right.
The music of the Fab 4 came to life this past weekend in McKenzie Theatre.
The EOU Chamber Choir and the EOU Music Department staged three performances of a “Beatles Celebration,’’ which featured a wide selection of Beatles songs. It’s probably safe to say that anyone who knows the quality of the choral and music department at EOU expected a great show. What transpired in three sold-out performances exceeded those expectations. The show was fantastic!
The Chamber Choir, directed by Peter Wordelman, always has a full, rich sound. That sound came through in stunning fashion in the songs selected for the concert. Not only did the choir bring a multi-voice richness to Beatles tunes, but the concert gave many students a chance to shine, to show their versatility. And shine they did. What talent the program boasts.
Complementing the voices was the accompaniment provided by various musicians, most of them EOU staff members.
It was a super performance. A grand show. Everyone who had a hand in it deserves hearty congratulations and thanks. Bring us more!