Taxation without representation?

In the February 5, 2018, issue of the Register-Guard, Eugene resident Rich Locke writes in a letter:

My business and 50 others are being unfairly assessed a fee from the Eugene Toxic Right to Know program.

In 2000, Mayor Jim Torrey and the City Council passed City Ordinance 20189 so they could continue to finance the ETRTK program. It changed the Eugene Charter requirements from 2,640 pounds of hazardous materials used in manufacturing processes to any amount above zero pounds. That increased the operating revenue to the program by assessing non-reporting manufacturers the same amount as the reporting manufacturers.

The Eugene charter states the reporting companies pay the full cost. This ordinance has assessed over $1 million from non-reporting businesses. The non-reporting businesses represent 60 percent of the needed revenue for the ETRTK, yet the non-reporting companies cannot be represented at the board level.

Sounds like taxation with no representation.

This practice by the city is reason enough for an independent auditor. Eugene continues to have an unchallenged agenda that shows the citizens of Eugene that the city government, unchecked, can’t be trusted to do the right thing when its agenda is challenged. Although this is just one issue, I’m sure there are many more that are being challenged at this time. We need to stop this.

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