Filed: April 13, 2000

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF OREGON

BILL SIZEMORE,

Petitioner,

v.

HARDY MYERS,
Attorney General for the State of Oregon,

Respondent.

(SC S47304)

En Banc

On petition to review ballot title.

Argued and submitted March 30, 2000.

Paul R. Rundle, of Kent, Conley & Rundle, P.C., Portland, argued the cause and filed the petition for petitioner.

Holly A. Vance, Assistant Attorney General, Salem, argued the cause and filed the answering memorandum for respondent. With her on the memorandum were Hardy Myers, Attorney General, and Michael D. Reynolds, Solicitor General.

PER CURIAM

Ballot title certified. This decision shall become effective in accordance with ORAP 11.30(10).

PER CURIAM

This is a ballot title review proceeding brought under ORS 250.085(2). Petitioner is an elector who timely submitted written comments to the Secretary of State respecting the content of the draft ballot title for a proposed measure designated by the Secretary of State as Initiative Petition 140 (2000). He therefore is entitled to seek review of the resulting ballot title for that measure certified by the Attorney General. See ORS 250.085(2) (stating that requirement). We review the Attorney General's certified ballot title to determine whether it "substantially complies" with the requirements of ORS 250.035 (1997). (1) See ORS 250.085(5) (setting out standard of review).

We have considered each of petitioner's arguments concerning the ballot title certified by the Attorney General. We conclude that none establishes that the Attorney General's certified ballot title fails to comply substantially with the standards for such ballot titles set out in ORS 250.035(2)(a) to (d) (1997). Accordingly, we certify to the Secretary of State the following ballot title:

AMENDS CONSTITUTION: PROHIBITS INCOME-TAX BREAKS (DEFINED) DISPROPORTIONATELY BENEFITING HIGHEST-INCOME TAXPAYERS

RESULT OF "YES" VOTE: "Yes" vote prohibits "income tax breaks" (defined) estimated to disproportionately (defined) benefit highest-income taxpayers.

RESULT OF "NO" VOTE: "No" vote leaves constitution without prohibition against "income-tax breaks" benefiting highest-income taxpayers disproportionately.

SUMMARY: Amends Constitution. Prohibits for all taxpayers new "income-tax breaks" estimated to disproportionately benefit taxpayers with incomes exceeding those of 99 percent of Oregon taxpayers. Under measure, benefits "disproportionate" when highest-income taxpayers will receive percentage of tax break's dollar amount higher than percentage of total Oregon income taxes they pay when break voted on. Defines "income tax break" as deduction, exclusion, exemption, or subtraction from income, preferential rate, tax credit. Exceptions: home mortgage interest, charitable contributions, fixed-amount breaks limited by income-tax liability.

Ballot title certified. This decision shall become effective in accordance with ORAP 11.30(10).


1. The 1999 Legislature amended ORS 250.035 (1997) in several respects. Or Laws 1999, ch 793, 1. However, section 3 of that 1999 enactment provides, in part:

"(1) The amendments to ORS 250.035 by section 1 of this 1999 Act do not apply to any ballot title prepared for:

"(a) Any initiative petition that, if filed with the Secretary of State with the required number of signatures of qualified electors, will be submitted to the people at the general election held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November 2000[.]"

The present proposed measure is one of those to which the 1999 act does not apply. We therefore apply the pertinent provisions of ORS 250.035 (1997).

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