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Small Coastal Ore. Town Joins Nationwide Tax March

The Women's March drew about 300 protesters to Port Orford in January. (Tim Palmer)
The Women's March drew about 300 protesters to Port Orford in January. (Tim Palmer)
April 13, 2017

PORT ORFORD, Ore. -- Oregonians will join protesters across the nation on Saturday in a Tax March, calling on President Trump to release his tax returns.

The marches and rallies will also highlight Trump's proposed budget; an outline of how Americans' tax dollars could be spent in 2018. Among the cities taking part in the protest is Port Orford, a small outpost on Oregon's southern coast.

The unassuming town with a population of a little more than 1,000 has been embroiled in national politics since the 2016 election. But Paulianne Balch-Rancourt, a citizen organizer with Action Port Orford, said people in town have been active in local politics for a long time, and she thinks she knows why.

"Standing for our principles,” Balch-Rancourt said. "It's not enough to just complain to our friends and like-minded people. It's important to represent our principles in action."

Trump is the first president in 40 years to refuse to release his tax returns to the public. He has said he won't release his returns while they're being audited.

While the biggest march is expected to be in Washington, D.C., local marches are scheduled to take place across Oregon, including in Bend, Eugene, Grants Pass and Coos Bay.

In January, the Women's March in Port Orford drew around 300 people from the town and surrounding area. Since the election, protesters on the southern coast have been working with Indivisible, the dispersed activist network organizing against the Trump administration in cities across the country, which also has been involved in organizing tax marches.

Balch-Rancourt said the message of the march is simple: Trump should be held accountable for his taxes.

"We believe that you should show your taxes to the American people because you work for us now, you're not just a private businessman,” she said. "And then, secondarily, Congress, why aren't you doing something about this?"

The Tax March website says the president should "commit to a fair tax system for the American people" and that it's important for Americans to know if Trump is hiding any conflicts of interest in his taxes.

The march will take place on April 15, typically the day taxes are due. This year the deadline for taxes is Tuesday, April 18.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - OR