Oregon has taken a lot of hits in the last ten years. More than three thousand teachers have been laid off, and an additional thousand instructional assistants have been let go, too. Tuition and fees at Oregon’s public universities have increased 3 times faster than inflation since the 2005-2006 academic year, and tuition and fees for community college students have more than doubled. Currently, more than 1,600 families are on the waiting list for Employment Related Day Care. Though housing data is hard to compile, think about this: At the end of 2012, Home Forward (formerly the Housing Authority of Portland) accepted applications for one week, for Section 8 subsidized housing in Portland. They received 21,149 applications and held a lottery for the 3,000 they could add to the waiting list. More than two years later, they still have about 1,000 people on the list.
And yet, with all of these cuts – with teachers getting laid off and our students having the second largest class sizes in the nation, with college tuition becoming more out of reach, and with so many families seeming to never catch a break – with all of the growing evidence that Oregon desperately needs more revenue, Oregon will be giving back $350 million in taxes to satisfy our unique kicker law.