Dems push for a sales tax for Oregon

by NW Spotlight

This week KATU reported that “a group of Portland-area lawmakers think the time is right to propose a sales tax in Oregon,” even though Oregon voters have rejected a sales tax nine times. Three Democratic state legislators are backing the idea: Sen. Mark Hass, Sen. Ginny Burdick and Rep. Tobias Read.

The 5% sales tax proposal calls for (initially) cutting property and income taxes in half, and (initially) cutting the capital gains and corporate taxes. Willamette Week reports that the sales tax, combined with the other tax cuts, would raise an extra $1.9 billion a biennium for the state budget. The current state General and Lottery Funds’ budget is $14.8 billion (biennium).

The addition of a sales tax for Oregon would give legislators another knob to turn to increase tax revenues.

As was noted in Oregon Catalyst back in November, state spending in Oregon doubled in ten years, growing from $30 billion to $60 billion. The Oregon All Funds budget doubled from the budget ending in 2001 to the budget ending in 2011. The state’s General and Lottery Funds’ budget, a subset of the All Funds budget, went up by 35% during that same time.