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Statewide Tax Protests Mark "A Stronger Oregon" Day

April 16, 2012

MEDFORD, Ore. - Tuesday, April 17, isn't just tax-filing deadline day. It's also A Stronger Oregon Day, to be marked by statewide protests of what some see as the fundamental unfairness of the income tax system. In at least a dozen Oregon cities, protesters will hand out flyers at local post offices, ask people to fill in the tax amount they have to pay and and compare it to what some major corporations paid – which is zero.

Michelle Glass is communications director for Project REconomy, a group that advocates for homeowners facing foreclosure. She says she'll be at a post office in Medford.

"What we're concerned about is that the largest, most profitable corporations and banks are paying nothing - and at the same time, doing very little to create jobs, lend to Oregon small businesses or work with families who are struggling to pay on mortgages that don't reflect current market value."

Glass says they will deliver the completed flyers to local bank branch managers.

Another focus of the protest is to make people aware of the services that could be available if state and federal governments could use some of the tax dollars they now give up as tax loopholes.

Members of the Latino community will join other workers, students and retirees at post offices in Bend. Greg Delgado, an organizer with immigrants' rights group Causa, says their goal is to raise awareness that everyone has a part to play in improving the economy.

"It's not business as usual anymore. We are going to have to come up with some new ideas and new ways to rethink our economy and rethink how we do business - because the system that we're using now is not working for everybody. It does not work for central Oregon. It's making more people poor and driving people out of their homes. We have to change this."

Delgado says the last few years have been especially tough in central Oregon, where unemployment rates still hover two percent to five percent higher than the statewide average.

A coalition, Oregon Strong Voice, is sponsoring the Tuesday events. A list of "A Stronger Oregon Day" places and times is online at http://bit.ly/HDRj2S.

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR