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Oregon Ballot Measure 5 (1990)

Ballot Measure 5 of 1990 established state constitutional limits (Article XI, Section 11) on Oregon's property taxes on real estate. Property taxes dedicated for funding schools were capped at $15.00 per $1,000 of assessed value, and gradually lowered to $5. Property taxes for other purposes were capped at $10 per $1,000. The measure transferred the responsibility for school funding from local government to the state, to equalize funding.

The measure was passed in the November 6, 1990 general election with 574,833 votes in favor, 522,022 votes against.

Although measure numbers are reused, the effect of this 1990 measure on the state was significant enough that when Oregonians speak of Measure 5, they are usually refering to this measure.

Supporters of Measure 5 were upset because a rise in real estate valuations, caused by an economic boom and the continued influx of new homeowners in the bounded Portland metropolitan area, caused a rapid rise in taxes, threatening to force residents on fixed or low incomes to move. Many also liked the provisions of the measure that required equalization of school funding. Proponents hoped or expected that schools would be protected by the introduction of a sales tax. Opponents warned that the measure would lead to massive cuts in government services.

The measure has remained controversial since its passage. Oregon remains one of only five states without a sales tax, the others being Alaska, Delaware, Montana, and New Hampshire. Furthermore, the measure is blamed for cuts in school programs, and the budget crises of 2002 and 2003. Many critics say that then-Governor Barbara Roberts warning that Measure 5's passage would lead to massive chaos has been borne out. Supporters defend the measure as necessary to curb government spending excesses.

The measure was sponsored by Oregon Taxpayers United, an anti-tax group. Measure 5 was followed up with Measure 47 in 1996 and Measure 50 in 1997.

See also: List of Oregon ballot measures

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