Ben Cannon, that young, earnest-looking fellow intent on taxing the hell out one of Oregon's finest products represents District 46. District 46 includes the Mt. Tabor neighborhood, where I grew up (and where my parents grew up and still live). In fact as his bio reflects, he was raised in the Mt. Tabor neighborhood. So why don't I know this guy?
Ben and his family moved to Oregon when he was five, settling at the foot of Mt. Tabor in SE Portland. After attending West Linn High School...Oh, that's why! His family settled on Mt. Tabor, but deigned the school system not quite so fancy as that of West Linn, so they decided to ship young Ben far across town. Eh, maybe that's why he's a state representative, and I'm blogging.
Now, I'm not saying a price should be placed on Ben Cannon's head. It takes cojones to try and raise taxes on a state's most valued product. It'd be like taxing oil in Texas, or meth in North Dakota. But do we really need the price of a pint to rise by $2.00? $2.00!!! Keep in mind, this is, in all honesty, one of Oregon's most lucrative exports.
Fortunately, you can politely give Representative Cannon a piece of your mind. He'll be having a little "coffee shop conversation" at Bipartisan Cafe on Thursday evening, from 7-8 pm.
Just, you know, mention there might be a middle ground...like taxing beer, I don't know, $.25 per pint more? Maybe don't destroy the unique brewery culture Oregon has built up over the years, being as it's a bad economy and all. Just a suggestion.
Addendum: As my always tax-averse dad pointed out, the fact I even mentioned a $.25 increase means Ben Cannon has already won, in that he just randomly came up with a ridiculous figure, so citizens wouldn't be upset when the number was lowered dramatically, but taxes still increased. It's an old trick.
Also, as dad pointed out, Portland's breweries won't absorb the tax...they'll just up their prices to compensate for the loss. That means, of course, that consumers will be paying more in a time when there's less money to spend, or they just won't buy beer at all, which will cause Oregon's smaller brewers to falter and send larger brewers (like Widmer and the notoriously conservative Rogue Brewing) to states with lower beer taxes (possibly right across the Columbia).
Also, despite living in the Mt. Tabor area for over 5o years, and knowing everyone, my dad is unfamiliar with Ben Cannon. He knows everyone, especially someone who claims to have lived in the area so long. Where did you really grow up, Ben Cannon?