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BACKGROUND •ÊMeasure 30 puts taxing issues on the table

On Feb. 3, Oregon voters will decide whether the state will keep portions of the $800 million tax package the Legislature passed in August to balance the 2003-05 budget. Opponents collected enough signatures to place a repeal of some portions of the package before voters in a special statewide election.

If Measure 30 is approved, the state will enact a three-year personal income tax surcharge that was the centerpiece of the balanced budget. If approved, the measure also will extend a cigarette tax of 10 cents per pack until Jan. 1, 2006, and increase the minimum corporate income tax from $10 to at least $250.

A yes vote is to keep the taxes, while a no vote would eliminate them. A simple majority is required for passage of Measure 30.

Ballots went in the mail Jan. 16 and must be back in the hands of elections officials no later than 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 3.