Populism Swings Left as Oregon Votes to Tax the Rich

Voters hit corporations, to, in state referendum
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2010 7:31 AM CST
Supporters of 'No on Tax Measures 66 &67' , including Jill Odell, front center and Shaun Jillions, left, wait to see early returns in a hotel room in Salem Ore., Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010.   (Greg Wahl-Stephens)
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(Newser) – Don't be too quick to extrapolate from the Massachusetts election that the country's populist surge swings to the right: Oregon voters yesterday approved tax hikes for corporations and the rich. The referendum, which reversed more than two decades of Oregon voters shooting down tax increases, came as the cash-strapped state faced school closings, teacher layoffs and cuts in health benefits, the LA Times reports.

In a stunning about-face for voters historically hostile to taxes of all sorts, measures to raise the state's corporate income tax as well as income taxes on households earning more than $250,000 a year and individuals earning more than $125,000 appeared to have won readily. Other state legislatures facing similar budget crises watched the Oregon vote closely, and may now consider crafting similar measures.

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