Tax Justice March sees protesters in Eugene come out in full force

Protesters brave the rain to march for change at Eugene Tax Justice March (SBG).

EUGENE, Ore. - People from around Lane County gathered at the EWEB Plaza on the University of Oregon to March for Tax Justice on Sunday.

To sum it up, the protesters are asking for tax money to be spend differently. After President Trump signed the tax reform bill that went into effect in January, people in Lane County say that the current tax spending does not favor the public.

"We think the money needs to be spent at home on infrastructure," said Patty Hine, a protester at the rally. "That means public education, maybe even free public education."

For Hine, and others, the main thing they were asking for on Sunday was change.

"We're pushing for a tax system that benefits everybody, not just the rich and powerful," said Michael Carrigan, with the Community Alliance of Lane County.

Carrigan is one of the people who organized the event, and he describes the group of protesters who showed up as "a crowd of average, middle-class Americans who've had enough."

Under the new tax reform bill, taxes on corporations were reduced from 35 percent to 21 percent. The bill also allowed corporations to give out bonuses to employees, but people in Lane County say the rich need to be taxed more and spending needs to benefit the public.

The Community Alliance of Lane County is finding out out how community members want taxes spent. In an exercise, people could drop a penny into whichever jar they wanted, representing a different sector.

The most popular sectors were human services and environmental alternatives. People say they also want more funding towards education, healthcare and climate protection as well.

"So many things are being privatized," said Hine. "We need to put those back into the public sector with public dollars."

There's also an upcoming Tax March on Tuesday in Washington D.C., hosted by the Global Alliance for Tax Justice. Members of Congress and supporters are expected to be at the event.

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