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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Anti-tax Group’s Straw Poll on SB1070 would crumble under the facts

In a post over at the right-wing Oregon Catalyst blog,  the 'Taxpayer Association of Oregon' said that in a “straw poll” of 335 of their supporters, 318 support passage of SB1070, Arizona's controversial racial profiling law, in Oregon.

Even given the informal results of a straw poll, it is curious how members of a group that claims to support fiscal responsibility and opposes the growth of government would support a law that could potentially cost Oregonians hundreds of millions of dollars.

Last week, the Associated Press reported that a bill modeled on Arizona's SB1070 in Utah would cost state and local governments millions of dollars each year. According to the article, Utah cities and counties would need to spend between $5.3 million and $11 million per year to verify the identity of people and detain undocumented immigrants.

It is anyone’s guess how much such a law would cost to implement in Oregon. It certainly could be concluded that the price tag would be comparative and have a detrimental impact on Oregon’s economy and serious consequences on public safety.

Many states once contemplating going the route of Arizona, are now rethinking their positions. The Washington Post reported that that since it’s passage, SB1070 has cost Arizona $250 million in tax revenue, wages and visitor expenditures. Not to mention the legal costs to defend it has mounted into the millions with every judicial decision going against the law.

A Southern Poverty Law Center report released last month also found that because of the mounting legal costs over such legislation, one community had to raise property taxes, while another was forced to cut personnel and outsource its library. In a down economy, this was the last thing that those communities need and it is sure that most Oregonians would agree that it is the last thing our state needs.

The fact is, Oregon does not need the hefty price tag of a law modeled on Arizona’s SB1070. And with Oregonians craving common sense and workable solutions to our state’s problems, Oregon legislators like Representative Kim Thatcher (R-Keizer) should have plenty to do instead of introducing bills that would create a divisive political climate, promote racial profiling, place undue economic burdens on our small businesses and cause a threat to public safety.

For more about the harmful effects that Arizona’s Racial Profiling Law SB1070 could have on Oregon, link here:  and here:


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