Dependence on gaming and liquor revenues define OregonIt is a sad commentary that privatization of liquor sales and expansion of state-sponsored gaming are seen as financial saviours while genuine tax reform is considered off limits.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission Friday agreed to launch a pilot project of making liquor available in certain grocery stores in metropolitan Portland over the next two years. The rationale behind this move is the prospect of increased revenue.

At the same time, legislators are not eager to take up tax reform proposals. The defeat of Measure 30 has taken the wind out of their sails. When the state Lottery Commission approved a lame revision of the revenue-sharing arrangement between the state and video poker outlets, Gov. Ted Kulongoski uttered hardly a peep.

No one would argue that the state needs to put more liquor or lottery games on the market from the standpoint of addiction. That, however, seems to be the legacy Oregon is building for itself in this first decade of the 21st century.

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