Keizertimes. (Salem, Or.) 1979-current, December 22, 2017, Page PAGE A5, Image 5

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Let us control our future
A modern saying goes: if you’re
not growing, you’re dying. It seems
to be a guiding principal favored by
business, developers and some mu-
nicipalities. If you don’t have new
sources of revenue or new housing
tracts, then your organi-
zation is on a downward
For a city some think
that means it will no lon-
ger be a desirable address
or that business will no
longer come knocking.
That could be true if a
city did absolutely nothing
to grow—no new permits, no new
subdivisions, no devlopment. But that
never happens.
Expansion of the Urban Growth
Boundary (UGB) has been a talking
point for years in Keizer and Salem.
The cities share one boundary which
is key because the 1970s era law that
oversees land use in Oregon states
that each UGB needs to have a 20
year supply of land for residential and
commerical uses.
By most measures Keizer has fi lled
in its part of the shared UGB. Salem
has plenty of land inventory in its
southern and eastern areas. Unused
land inventory in Salem is not the
only impediment to expanding Keiz-
er’s boundary—other municipalities
are able to weigh in on any expansion
discussions, namely Marion and Polk
counties as well as the city of Salem.
A regional forecast prepared in
2012 by ECONorthwest concluded
Keizer would need space for some
2,800 homes by 2030 to meet pro-
jected demand, including 1,710 sin-
gle-family and 1,177 medium and
medium-high density housing units.
That kind of expansion and devel-
opment runs right up against one of
the gems of our region—the rich soil
that fuels Marion County’s agricul-
ture. As one travels north of Keizer on
either River or Wheatland roads they
are met with acres of land that has
been farmed for generations. Thou-
sands of acres of Oregon agricultural
land has been rezoned for residential
or commercial uses of the past two
decades. In our area, Willamette Val-
ley’s farms are as productive as any in
the world. The reality is that that land
is less valuable for its agricultural uses
than its developed uses.
How will the city broker any
agreement between those who want
to retain the area’s agricultural heri-
tage and those who want to bring
that land into Keizer and develop
it? No major project is undertaken
in Keizer without public hearings.
Residents will get the opportunity to
weigh in on any propsosed expansion
and development of Keizer’s urban
growth boundary.
The question that needs to be
answered by residents and leaders is
what kind of city does Keizer want to
be. Should we do all we can to main-
tain the quaint small town feel many
people think our city exudes and
plan for our housing and commer-
cial needs within our current border?
Should we be a city that moves with
the times, expands and develops into
the land north of the city? Or, do we
do nothing and let mar-
ket forces determine what
Keizer becomes?
It has long been our
belief that those who plan
for the future also control
the future. City planners
and leaders need to plan
for the future at the same
time as considering the
concerns of current residents. Traffi c
in Keizer has been at the top of issues
that perplex citizens.While we don’t
have Seattle or Los Angeles traffi c
problems, in our neck of the woods
traffi c is an issue whether one is driv-
ing one mile or 20. That concern
would surely grow with zig zaggy
We are smart enough to real-
ize that more housing brings more
people and more people brings more
traffi c. The city would be transformed
for the better if new residents were
able to work in Keizer. Working
where one lives reduces the need to
drive. Planning for future transpor-
tation systems will be critical to fu-
ture development in Keizer. Thank-
fully Cathy Clark, Keizer’s mayor, is
knowledgeable of and intimately in-
volved with regional transportation
issues—the city has a very big seat at
the table.
All of Keizer’s municipal issues
have been solved somewhere in the
world—we need only look past our
exceptionalism and accept that some-
one else may have solved a housing,
workforce or transportation problem.
As they say, imitation is the sincerest
form of fl attery. Maintaining Keizer’s
special aura is important to those
who call this city home.
Will Keizer die if it doesn’t grow?
Not immediately, but just like a plant,
if it has stopped growing it will age,
become brittle and eventually col-
lapse and rot away.
It is the duty of leaders in both
the public and private sectors to as-
sure the viability of the city for cur-
rent and future residents. That should
include A.) expanding the Urban
Growth Boundary in a swath 1000
feet wide along Interstate 5 between
Keizer Station and Quinaby Road
and zone it exclusively for light in-
dustrial and offi ce—that will mean
jobs for Keizerites; B.) zone the River
Road corridor for mixed used devel-
opment—retail below, housing above;
and, C.) promote improvement and
use of public transportation.
It is always a heavy lift for a city
to change development and zoning
codes,but if Keizer is to control its
own future, it must not be afraid to
plan for tomorrow and 20 years from
Christmas in the land of Muhammad
Christmases from my child-
hood were quintessential American
events. Each year could have served
as scenes for Norman Rockwell and
were wonderfully memorable. Of
course, there was a fresh-cut noble
fi r, the plethora of orna-
ments, silvery icicles, and
plenty of lights inside and
out with cutouts in the
front yard, including a
manger scene and Santa-
on-sleigh with Rudolph
and eight other reindeer.
came a year when it
was rather diffi cult to return home
for Christmas.That occurred be-
cause the Arabian American Oil
Company (ARAMCO) hired me to
a job requiring relocation to Dhah-
ran, Saudi Arabia. My job entailed
joining a group of other Americans
with the objective to convert the
workforce from mainly expatri-
ates (foreigners) to Saudis (nation-
als), a challenge that proved ambi-
tious by work ethic incompatibles
but was granted anyway, the “old
college” try.
As readers may imagine, it was a
monumental undertaking just to get
ready to depart for a long stay in the
Middle East. The details could liter-
ally fi ll a book, including inventory-
ing everything we owned and orga-
nizing the items into two piles: one
pile to Los Angeles for “permanent
storage;” the other, a smaller pile,
for use in Saudi Arabia. Inciden-
tally, one of the toughest events oc-
curred at the send-off in PDX
terminal, a gathering of family
and friends during which time my
mother was inconsolable with part-
ing tears that caused a welling-up
even on my pretentiously macho
We could take the most needed
of things, mainly clothes and per-
sonal effects, with us. Those items
fi lled suitcases and fi ve foot lock-
ers and accompanied us to eight
days of ARAMCO orientation in
Houston. They then boarded with
us on an ARAMCO jet along with
other hires on a fl ight that
stopped in Paris and then
Dhahran. My fi rst im-
pression of the place was
a glance out the plane’s
window as it banked in
fi nal approach and, look-
ing down at a barren des-
ert, I thought I’d probably
make a terrible mistake.
We arrived in early March with
the weather already sizzlingly hot
and assigned temporary housing at
North Camp, metal units located
outside Dhahran in the open des-
ert alongside a population of scor-
pions. While the ARAMCO ori-
entation had been enlightening, it
did not even come close to pre-
paring my wife and I for a place
as shockingly different as Saudi Ara-
bia. Not to labor the challenges and
diffi culties of such a foreign desti-
nation as different from Oregon as
anywhere in the world, the short of
the story is that we survived multi-
ple trials and tribulations exampled
by daily fi rst-of-fi ve-calls-to-prayer
in summer at 4 a.m. that used bull-
horns from atop towers, 12-year-
old Saudi boys who could barely
see over steering wheels driving
full-sized Buicks and Mercedes se-
dans, and the stick switching on
legs by mullahs, Islamic protectors
of the faith, reminding women not
dressed to Islamic standards to over
up any exposed skin.
Then there was Christmas. We
were discouraged from taking any-
thing the Saudis believed made by
Jewish-owned businesses but we
were not advised regarding our fake
tree, collection of lights and orna-
ments my wife and I had collect-
ed during the decade we’d been to-
gether before leaving. It took about
two months for our items by ship to
get there. Well, low and behold,
when our stuff arrived, not one
Christmas-related item was among
our things. They had all been con-
fi scated by the Saudi government.
My wife also lost her sewing ma-
chine which was made by Sears;
the wooden desk into which it had
been built arrived empty.
Two matters of good news: we
had made a list of everything we
sent so the full costs were reim-
bursed by ARAMCO. Humorously
and hypocritically, Saudi businesses
in nearby Saudi cities sold the con-
fi scated yuletide items back to AR-
AMCO employees (we never found
our own stuff but that of other
Americans). It was our fi rst time
away from a Christmas celebra-
tion that we missed most but
made the best of it by socializing
with other American families who
joined us in song and celebration.
There was a small, unmarked, bar-
ren building known secretly as a
“church” inside Dhahran where,
without fanciness or fanfare, a
Christmas service could be en-
joyed. The Saudis ignored us as long
as we were discreet and honored
their rules, true even for swimming
attire as we had our own American
To its credit, ARAMCO pro-
vided good salaries, health care,
housing and schools; Saudi Arabia
provided extreme heat and, with
few exceptions, a fairly hostile so-
ciety that makes every Christmas in
Keizer formerly taken for granted
but a whole lot more appreciated
(Gene H. McIntyre lives in Keizer.)
Tax plan takes swipe at little guys
Wheatland Publishing Corp.
142 Chemawa Road N. • Keizer, Oregon 97303
Phone: 503.390.1051 •
Eric A. Howald
Derek Wiley
One year:
$25 in Marion County,
$33 outside Marion County,
$45 outside Oregon
Publication No: USPS 679-430
Paula Moseley POSTMASTER
Send address changes to:
Andrew Jackson
Lyndon Zaitz
Keizertimes Circulation
142 Chemawa Road N.
Keizer, OR 97303
Laurie Painter
Periodical postage paid at
Salem, Oregon
Lori Beyeler
Random Pendragon
Republicans are supposed to be
the party that cuts the job-killing
capital gains tax, not raises it. But
because of a quirk in the Senate-
passed tax bill, the tax on capital
gains may go up -- and for some
types of long-held assets, fairly sub-
Most members of Congress don’t
even know of this stealth capital
gains hike. Here’s the story: At the
start of the year, Repub-
licans promised to reverse
the near-60 percent rise
in the capital gains tax
under former President
Barack Obama -- a hike
that helped bring invest-
ment rates to historic
lows. The GOP plan was
to eliminate the Obam-
acare 3.8 percent investment-tax
surcharge on capital gains and divi-
dends?. That repeal never happened.
But now, the Senate tax-reform bill
proposes to raise several billion over
the next decade by changing the
rules on how stocks are taxed.
It would require shareholders to
sell their oldest shares in a company
before their newest purchased ones.
The older the share, the larger the
taxable capital gain. This is called the
fi rst-in, fi rst-out accounting system.
Consider this example: Let’s say
you bought 100 shares of Apple
stock in 1998 at $100 a share?, and
then you bought another 100 shares
in 2008 at $300 each. If you were to
sell 100 shares at $500 a share, you
would have to “sell” the oldest stock
and pay a $400 per share capital
gains tax, versus $200 a share under
the current law.
Now, this accounting change may
actually make sense, except that the
gains on long-term stocks are not
adjusted for infl ation. So on many
sales of long-held stock, as much
as half of the reported and taxable
“gain” is due to the compounding
effect of infl ation. The actual capi-
tal gains tax paid could more than
double for many stock
and asset sales.
Therefore, the Sen-
ate rules would require
millions of Americans to
pay taxes on phantom or
illusory gains. That is pa-
tently unfair and would
discourage the very
that economists and politicians
agree that we need.
If you were to give us $1,000 to-
day, we would be glad to give you
$1,500 25 years from now, because
infl ation is likely to run ahead of
that pace. Believe us —you haven’t
made a $500 profi t on this transac-
tion. But the government thinks
you have.
There are other huge inequities
in this new policy. Under the Sen-
ate bill, there’s an exception for mu-
tual funds, exchange-traded funds
and other institutional funds. They
would continue to apply the tax
treatment under current law.
So get this: The little guy who
wants to buy and sell stock on his
own has to pay the higher capital
gains tax, but the big investment
funds have a more generous set of
rules with lower taxes. Huh?
The mutual-fund industry con-
vinced the Senate that conform-
ing to the new rule would be too
complicated. That’s good news for
Fidelity Investments and Vanguard.
But what about Joe Lunchbucket?
This new rule is complicated for
him, too. This law is going to nearly
force small investors to purchase
stock through the big fund manag-
ers—and, of course, pay their fees.
Most important, this is bad for
the economy. The higher tax pen-
alty on investment would discour-
age people from buying stock or
investing in small startup companies
in the fi rst place.
This would also exacerbate the
lock-in effect of the capital gains
tax. History shows that when the
tax on gains is higher, Americans are
much more reluctant to sell their
shares and pay the higher tax. This
benefi ts old, established companies
like Boeing and Microsoft but dries
up capital for smaller, fast-growing
fi rms that could be the next-gener-
ation Apple, Google or Uber.
In other words, this stealth capi-
tal gains tax contradicts the entire
purpose of an otherwise prosperity-
generating tax bill. We want lower
business tax rates and investment tax
rates to get more growth, more jobs
and higher wages. A backdoor capi-
tal gains tax would accomplish the
(Creators Syndicate)