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Kevin Mannix: Oregon's Sith

Failed gubernatorial candidate (and Democrat turned Republican) Kevin Mannix is back – once again peddling putrid public policy proposals via the ballot initiative system.

I had hoped Mannix might retire now that his sugar daddy Loren Parks cut off his funding and he is being investigated by the Oregon Justice Department. Unfortunately, it appears that Mannix just can't quit his lucrative racket.

This time he is pushing the "Homesteader Protection Act" which is nothing more than a populist sounding plan to get rid of the Oregon estate tax for the mega-rich.

Here is how he pitched it in an email he wrote to the Willamette Week:

The Homesteader Protection Act is just in the start-up phase. It defines Oregon’s homesteaders as folks who have paid property taxes on a farm or a ranch for at least 10 years or have paid income taxes for at least 10 years. It gives them an exemption from the Oregon Estate Tax on the basis that they have earned their dues by contributing to the Oregon economy and government for at least 10 years.

Never mind the absurdity of taxing or not taxing Oregonians based on how long they have lived here – eliminating the Oregon estate tax (which is only paid by estates worth $1 million or more) would slash funding for schools, health care, and public safety programs that have already been cut to the bone.

Revenue from the Oregon estate tax currently brings in about $200 million each two-year budget cycleThis isn’t chump change – two hundred million dollars could send an entire Rose Garden Arena filled with 4-year-olds to Head Start!

Hopefully he won’t be able to raise the money needed to actually get this idiotic idea on the ballot. But even if he does, I have confidence progressives can stop Oregonians from being fooled by Mannix again.

Originally posted to Noah Heller on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 06:59 PM PST.

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