The “Bring Feudalism to Oregon” Initiative

Another initiative from the Mannix shop likely to reach the ballot this year ahead is a proposed constitutional amendment styled as “Protect Family Giving from Taxes.” It is yet another salvo in the long-running barrage of efforts to destroy any measures that limit the accumulation of family fortunes. Given the wealthy backers who might favor this initiative, it seems likely to reach the ballot. Then the question will be whether the 99+% of Oregonians who will never pay a dime in estate tax (federal or state) can be convinced to eliminate the last bit of progressive tax policy remaining from Theodore Roosevelt’s campaign to put some limits on vast fortunes that were building up to a hereditary feudal society in The Gilded Age.

The People of the State of Oregon enact the following new Section to be added to Article IX of the Oregon Constitution:

  1. No tax shall be imposed on any gift of property from one family member to another member of the same family, no matter whether the gift is made during life, upon death, or after death.


  1. “Family member” or “member of the same family” means a relationship by blood, marriage, domestic partnership, adoption, or by other laws recognizing family relationships, between a giver and a recipient, within the third degree of relationship between the giver and the recipient. This includes, by example, but is not limited to, relationships within the range of spouses, domestic partners, great grandparents, grandparents, parents, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, great uncles, great aunts, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, great nephews, great nieces, siblings, and cousins.


  1. This Section protects family gifts from gift taxes, income taxes, inheritance taxes, estate taxes, and any other form of state or local taxation.