Kevin Mannix must really hate the latest bad idea from Kevin Mannix.
A few years ago, initiative profiteer (and five-time failed candidate) Mannix started the Oregon Anti-Crime Alliance to push his mandatory minimum sentencing ideas and tough-on-crime agenda. (Oh, also, the kind of “Castle Doctrine” law that led to Trayvon Martin’s death.)
According to their literature, the Anti-Crime Alliance wants “Oregon to have one of the lowest overall crime rates out of the 50 states in the United States.” And how do they advocate we do that? By spending a lot of money on public safety.
Mannix’s group claims to want:
[B]etter prevention, including education programs regarding drugs, gangs, domestic violence; … enhanced criminal investigation and prosecution; … effective treatment and rehabilitation programs, including aggressive prison work and education programs ensuring there is enough capacity in jails and prisons to incarcerate those who need to be behind bars; more careful supervision of inmates as they are transitioned back into the community, with provision of effective transition services…
All of those things require a big investment of state tax dollars, which are currently scarce. So, obviously, the Anti-Crime Alliance must be really worried about the newest ballot initiative from Kevin Mannix, which would give a tax break to millionaires by eliminating Oregon’s Estate Tax.
Mannix’s Estate Tax Ban would slash at least $200 million from the state budget every two years. And since Oregon’s Estate Tax only applies to estates worth more than $1 million, and since family farms are already fully exempt on up to $7.5 million of their farm’s worth, Mannix’s plan would primarily benefit the heirs of rich investors. (See this link for FAQs about the initiative.)
And to pay for this big tax break for the rich, the state would need to make even deeper cuts to Oregon’s K-12 schools, senior care services, and, yes, public safety programs. Assuming that the budget cuts would happen proportionally, public safety programs would lose at least $26 million in every two-year budget cycle.
That would likely mean bigger cuts to programs like drug rehabilitation, mental health services, post-jail supervision, and youth programs. It could also mean layoffs of state troopers, closing one or more state prisons, and releasing inmates early (see Josephine County for what’s already happened in some local communities.)
In other words, pretty much the opposite of the stated goals of the Oregon Anti-Crime Alliance.
Which makes it so breathtakingly ironic that Mannix is now using his anti-crime organization to make a last-minute plea for signatures on his tax break initiative. Here’s what he posted last week:
Pro-tip: If you’re actually concerned about funding programs that protect the health and safety of your community, the last thing you probably want to do is spearhead a campaign that will cut lots of money from those very programs.