Measure 84: Kevin Mannix’s Tax Break for Millionaires

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Initiative profiteer Kevin Mannix is back with another bad idea: Creating a massive tax break for millionaires by ending Oregon’s Estate Tax.

It’s another terrible idea from a man who’s made a comfortable living by pushing bad ideas onto Oregonians. Here are answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about Measure 84:

How much would this measure cost our schools and health care services?

Eliminating Oregon’s Estate Tax would cost our schools, senior care, public safety, and other priority services more than $240 million every two years. That’s the equivalent of laying off 1,200 K-12 teachers.

But it gets even worse. Measure 84 contains an additional new tax break that would allow wealthy households to avoid paying capital gains taxes entirely. This would result in hundreds of millions of dollars slashed from our schools, senior services, and public safety.

Who would benefit?

This is a massive tax break that only benefits the heirs of millionaires. Oregon’s Estate Tax only applies to estates worth more than $1 million. This tax break would only apply to less than 750 of the richest estates each year, while forcing cuts to schools and services that middle-class families depend on.

Why is this tax break a bad idea?

Measure 84 would force deeper cuts to our K-12 schools, long-term care for seniors, and public safety systems, while providing a massive tax break to a small handful of millionaire households.

Large corporations and the rich already have too many tax breaks and loopholes that let them avoid paying their fair share. In the past five years, Oregon legislators have cut K-12 school funding by 5%, while the amount the state gives way in tax breaks has increased by 12%. (See Oregon Tax Expenditure Report, page 5)

At a time when middle-class families are struggling, we shouldn’t give away more critical tax dollars to the rich.

Will this tax break help preserve family farms?

No. While the proponents of this tax break claim that it will help family farms, the measure does nothing to help them. Family-owned farms and other family-owned natural resource properties worth up to $7.5 million can already get a tax credit from the State of Oregon that wipes out their entire Estate Tax liability. (See the Legislative Revenue Office’s Basic Facts document, section F1-F5)

This is only about creating new tax loopholes for the very rich.

Who’s behind this measure?

You won’t see his name in the list of chief petitioners, but the main proponent of this measure is initiative profiteer Kevin Mannix. Mannix has used a network of front groups to hide the sources of funding for this measure, and all of the money for signature gathering has gone to a firm that he owns.

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