Voices from the Edge on 12/06/12
Finding new ways to fund our schools
Portland public schools are in crisis. High school drop out rates are at 40 percent, classroom hours are shortened while class sizes continue to grow. Without additional funding, it seems unlikely these trends will be reversed. Traditional funding sources - property taxes and state income taxes - appear to have reached their limits. Could taxing Portland's growing food scene be a solution?
This week, Jo Ann and Dave talk with local activist Roberta Palmer about a proposal to institute a food and beverage tax to support local schools. Palmer points to Oregon communities like Ashland and Yachats that have used F&B taxes to pay for local infrastructure as well as localities outside Oregon that have found the F&B a suitable replacement for a general sales tax. While F&B taxes capture tourist dollars, will Oregonians overcome their long-held dislike of a sales tax?
Jo Ann Hardesty is a former state legislator, former director of Oregon Action and past board president of Portland Community Media, as well as a long-time leader in the struggle for racial and economic justice. Dave Mazza is a journalist and former editor of The Portland Alliance who has covered and been involved in Portland's civil rights, environmental, labor and peace movements for over 20 years.
Join Jo Ann and Dave every Thursday as they bring you guests and conversations on issues that are important to you. Support Voices from the Edge by becoming a KBOO member (just click the "tip jar" in the upper right-hand corner on KBOO's homepage to find out how) or consider becoming an underwriter of this program (contact KBOO's underwriting director for details).
Co-Hosts: Jo Ann Hardesty and Dave Mazza
Producers: Dave Mazza and Jo Ann Hardesty
Program Engineer: Steve Nassar
Audio Editor: Alicia Olson