Rich people don’t usually write me letters, so you can imagine my surprise when I received a letter from Carol Leuthold yesterday. It was from a mass mailing that must have included my name and address. She wrote that she wants me to join her in voting NO on a tax increase of the rich in Oregon (yeah...right). Though I can’t get back to her today, being Sunday and all, I’ll respond to her tomorrow. What follows is our exchange of letters...
Carol Marie Leuthold
Leuthold Dairy Farm
November 16, 2009
David Thomas McDonald
2225 N Emerson St
Portland, OR 97217-3810
Five generations of our family have worked at our Tillamook dairy. It's our life and our business. Milk prices are plunging and it's harder than ever to keep our business afloat. We're worried that the new, permanent tax increases legislators passed in June will hurt our farm and the families it supports. Please join me in voting NO on Measures 66 and 67, which permanently raise business and personal income taxes in the middle of the worst recession since the Great Depression.
Economists estimate these tax increases will cost 70,000 Oregonians their jobs. With entire families out of work, we can't afford taxes that will cost more jobs. I can't vote to send more pink slips to Oregonians.
Legislators say their plan only taxes the rich. They're wrong. We'll all end up paying more for groceries, gas, and other services, and that will impact all Oregonians, especially the poor. Facing higher taxes, small businesses like ours would be forced to lay off workers, reduce wages and benefits, or close their doors.
Worse yet, the higher taxes would be retroactive to January 1, 2009. No money to cover this increase has been withheld from Oregonians' paychecks in all of 2009. Retroactive tax bills will hurt businesses, too.
Despite the bleak economy, Measure 67 would tax businesses up to $100,000 a year, even if they didn't make a profit. This tax increase will make Oregon's corporate minimum (the tax on the sales of businesses that don't make profits) 20 times higher than New York - the nation's highest. The personal income tax increase also adds to business taxes - 66% of Oregonians who will be impacted by the Measure 66 tax increase are small business owners that report their business income on their personal tax returns.
State government has not tightened its belt like the rest of us. We should not send more money to Salem until the state can get its spending under control. It bothers me that the $733 million in new taxes will help fund the $258 million budgeted for state employee salary increases. Instead of pinching pennies like the rest of us, legislators increased overall state spending by $4.7 billion - 9% higher than the previous budget, and raised taxes and fees by almost $2 billion.
Public employee unions say the sky will fall if the new taxes do not pass. I'm here to tell you that the sky is already falling on Oregon small businesses like mine. Even President Obama said in an NBC interview this August, "The last thing we want to do is raise taxes during the middle of a recession."
Help me send legislators a message that voters already have rejected job-killing income tax increases twice before. No means no! Please vote NO on Measures 66 and 67.
Carol Marie Leuthold
Leuthold Dairy Farm - Tillamook
I worked with Oregonians Against Job-Killing Taxes to share my thoughts with you in this letter.
November 28, 2009
Carol Marie Leuthold
2425 McCormick Loop Road
Tillamook, OR 97141
I just received your letter asking me to vote NO on Measures 66 and 67. The letter was dated 11/16/09, but it came in yesterday’s mail. This means you must have mailed it sometime after November 24th. This is very interesting to me, as on the 24th an article regarding the “myth” of job loss in our state if these Measures pass was printed in Salem-News.com, which you certainly should have read. If you didn’t read this article, I suggest that you do so now.
Your own website leads me to believe that you are in fact a well healed Oregonian who has concerns other than saving jobs. Concerns regarding how you might spend all the money you make. From your website...
“It’s been said that Tillamook is the Switzerland of the United States. Nestled at the feet of the Coast Range and known for its delicious dairy products, the comparison doesn’t make for much of a mental stretch.
If there’s one woman, however, who’s qualified to weigh in on similarities between the two locales, it’s Carol Marie Leuthold.
In addition to being a Tillamook County Creamery Association member farmer, as well as Tillamook County Farm Bureau President, Leuthold and her husband, Dan, have a serious case of the travel bug.
The couple has roamed around the world, including stops in Brazil, Italy, Germany and Alaska. They touch down in Switzerland, Dan’s familial homeland, every four years or so. This past year, the couple rendezvoused there after taking the first separate vacations in their 45-year marriage.
Dan went on safari in South Africa while Carol Marie flew to the South of France and Italy to take cooking classes.”
You should know that we common folks have concerns other than fattening your purse. Concerns such as education for our children, healthcare and housing for our elderly and disabled, and police protection for all Oregonians.
Perhaps you’d be better served by writing a letter to Santa Clause, asking him to keep you rich for another year, and let those of us who actually care about our neighbors move our state forward. May you get exactly what you deserve this Christmas.
DAWG (Disability Activists Work Group) Oregon