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Letters to the Editor for March 14

Question price on carbon

Where does the City Council go from here? There are countless places they can find pet projects to raise taxes, and don’t make any mistake, this is a tax on citizens without their consent, voted into place by four people who say they represent us?

I had to read the whole story to find out what they were trying to do and it is finally spelled out at the end, “efficient way to discourage use of fossil fuels.” They never give us how much per kilowatt, gallon or therm, etc., this will add to the cost to the citizens they represent, who will be the ones paying this tax when it passes, and it will pass in the halls of our state government.

A few answers on the tax money we are going to be paying. What will this cost the city, county and state for each of the fossil fuels they now use? How will this discourage their use of these fuels? What will be the service we are now receiving from our governments that they will eliminate as they are discouraged from the use of fossil fuels? Reduced employees, work hours, etc. should be expected, I would assume. Will these governments go for a double tax on us to replace the additional costs they will be paying when they use these fuels?

Now the individual citizen, how much will this cost for each of the fuels to discourage our use of said fuels? How does this help the problem of people having to commute to the city for their jobs by taxing them for using a fuel to access their jobs? Make sure to add on the additional taxes for all the governments we will be paying to replace that spent for their fuels.

Where will this money end up and who will benefit? Why was this part of the information not given in the newspaper story — surely that must be one of the main issues that was considered by the city council as they exercised their Bully Pulpit?

Norman B. Holman

Hood River

Carbon tax ‘practical’ I appreciate Mike Teems, Jr.’s efforts to “encourage conversation” on the merits of a carbon tax (“Offer Incentives,” March 4, 2015). The need to take action on global warming is urgent. As Republican former Secretary of State George Shultz said recently, “The climate is changing. If you don’t like the science, use your eyes.”

Also, at his MIT address he argued that a revenue-neutral carbon tax is a good insurance policy. (Google mit.edu, shultz-climate-change.) In this proposal, greenhouse gasses would be taxed from where they originate (wellhead, mine). The money raised would then be distributed to citizens. Meaning, the government would not take in added revenue.

It is also called Carbon Fee and Dividend (citizensclimatelobby.org).

The beauty of this proposal is that it is national, nonpartisan, and practical. Everyone can get behind it. A major study shows that it will generate thousands of good paying jobs. It is a way we can demonstrate America’s leadership worldwide, and it will insure a good future for children.

Will Congressman Greg Walden stand up? As chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, he is in a key position to make it happen, to co-sponsor this legislation. Surely he believes the science, that there’s nothing more important than insuring our children’s future.

Lawrence Jones

Hood Rive

Contact legislators

Hood River County school district is expecting yet another significant budget cut, about $1 million. I am asking each of you to contact the listed state legislators to ask that no budget cut be made this year.

Legislators have found it easy to balance the state budget on the back of K12 education. We have had a budget cut each of the last seven years and parents have come to expect this. K12 education has slipped to 39 percent of the state budget down from 45 percent in 2003. Other constituencies are demanding and receiving more funding and public education is paying for this.

Here are some appalling statistics for the proud Oregonian. We have the second highest class size, rank 46th in funding education and we rank 46th in the nation for on-time graduation rates (dead last in 2013).

All Oregonians have a stake in this. Parents and grandparents want a bright future for their students. Business needs a well-educated public and the general economy will slowly suffer as Oregonians can’t compete with other states and businesses emigrate.

The irony of the current budget cut is the state is anticipating the income tax kicker rule to apply and will refund tax dollars. The cup runneth over, yet our district gets a $1 million shortfall. The state has recently announced that it plans to have 100 percent of its students graduate in 2025. It is a nice goal but continued budget cutting won’t get us there.

The current education budget is on the fast track to be approved at $7.2 billion. To prevent the current budget cut, we need that number to be $7.9 billion. Please contact the following and ask that they fund education at $7.9 billion. Thank you.

Senator Richard Devlin Co-chair Ways and Means sen.richarddevlin@state.or.us, 503-986-1719

Representative Peter Buckley, Co-chair Ways and Means rep.peterbuckley@state.or.us, 541-488-9180

Tina Kotek, House Majority Leader, rep.tinakotek@state.or.us, 503-286-0558

Peter Courtney, Senate President, sen.petercourtney@state.or.us, 503-986-1600

Senator Chuck Thompsen, sen.chuckthompsen@state.or.us, 503-986-1726

Representative Mark Johnson rep.markjohnson@state.or.us, 503-986-1452

Linda Gray

HRVHS Site Council Member

Parkdale

Help Oregon’s K-12 Kids

The current 2015-17 K-12 budget proposed by Salem is $7.2 billion, a continued 10-year slide in funding while requiring all-day kindergarten (a good thing but requires funding). Oregon K-12 ranks at the bottom nationally (46th or worse) for student instruction time per year, high school graduation rates, and dollar per pupil spending. The 2015-17 budget proposed by Salem will hit home again in Hood River (and all of Oregon) with continued reductions in teachers, programs, and services.

Are you satisfied with this state of affairs for Oregon K-12? Do you agree with faster growth of prison funding over K-12 funding? Apparently Salem is, as they are on a “fast track” to approval. Please email Senators Richard Devlin, Peter Courtney, Arnie Roblan, Rod Monroe, Chuck Thompsen, Tim Knopp, and Representatives Tina Kotek, Peter Buckley, Betty Komp, Mark Johnson; urge them to put K-12 Kids first, move more funds to K-12 with a “bare bones” minimum goal of $7.5 billion. Your 5-minutes now will be noticed! You may receive a “can’t do it” response, but your efforts will support a growing effort to reverse this Oregon K-12 10-year slide! Remember their responses at the next election!

Rich Truax

Hood River

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