Home Tax, Sales Tax & Water Tax!

Home tax

There is movement in the State Capitol to create something called a residential recording fee to be paid upon selling of a home. Unfortunately, it is not a fee but a tax, “a sales tax on homes” to be more precise. In addition to a new home tax, some lawmakers are looking to instituting a system development charge for new homes to help fund education expenses. Two new homes taxes would continue to make Oregon’s livability a liability to our pocketbook.

Sales tax

In the Senate there is stirrings of talk of a sales tax. Proponents are selling it as being revenue neutral. It won’t cost anyone anything! Or will it?????. This is the same bill of goods they tried to sell last session. Knowing that few politicians would dare propose tax reform without getting more dough, we wonder what the catch will be. Last time the plan was that they would raise an extra near-billion in tax revenue from tourist alone. The fact that most tourists in Oregon actually live in Oregon means the revenue neutral idea doesn’t pan out. Don’t worry, we still capture those non-native tourists with our high gas tax and hotel tax.

Water tax

Rumor has it that Jackie Dingfelder (D – Portland), who will chair the House Committee on Energy and the Environment, will introduce legislation requiring every residential well used to install a meter on their well, and report their water usage to the state Water Resources Department. This shows how in touch Portland legislators are with anyone who lives outside of town, and who is responsible for installing, maintaining, and paying for their own water supply. We know where this expensive metering will lead”¦a water tax!

  • Jason

    Nice reporting. These people are NUTS. I only hope they are not capable of putting this nonsense into place. They are clueless for sure.
    Sad, very sad indeed.

  • John Fairplay

    One of the great values of the Taxpayer Association is its tracking of these sorts of efforts at the state and local level. All too often in the past, there was no one to alert taxpayers to efforts by the Legislature to impose additional taxes and fees on Oregonians. Hopefully, none of these ideas will advance beyond being “proposals,” as each one would be harmful to Oregon in their own, unique ways. The state already has more than enough revenue to deal with all our issues, and to set aside some money for the future. NO additional revenues should be raised by this Legislature.

  • Captain.Anon

    I think we should be charging system development charges. The impact the incredible influx of growth has had on school systems is insane. Schools are busting at the seems and can’t build fast enough. Not only that, but construction costs are going up up up! Residential development never pays for itself. it always eats up more in costs to service the home than it does in the tax it generates. so, go ahead with the systems development charges! help out the schools.

    i actually would agree with putting in place sales tax. we could then lower the income tax to adjust for it. but overall, it would create a more stable revenue stream for the state, so it doesn’t get caught in the cycle of unemployment going up, so less income revenue, which lays off more and cuts programs, and decreases the multiplier effect of the state’s expenditures. it also would allow people to avoid taxes by choosing not to buy certain goods, such as new cars, or boats, or clothes or whatever. it gives people more discretion in how to divert their money.

  • mmmarvel

    Thanks, Captain Anon, for showing us EXACTLY how the folks who voted for the clowns who are now in the legislature think. To a large degree, the folks in the legislature are indeed spouting inane ideas that folks like you agree with – a match made in heaven.

    If you dug a bit deeper you would see that 80% of each dollar sent to ‘schools’ ends up as salaries and pensions – yeah, let’s throw more money there. You would see that the little Davis-Bacon act adds a minimum of 30% more cost to every school building (and every other public building – library, hospital, city hall, etc).

    Sales tax?? Even if they started it by reducing other taxes, it would take a very short period of time before the ‘old taxes’ were right back up to where they are now – mark my words. Worse, ALL sales taxes grow … and grow … and grow. First they start adding 1/10 of a cent to the stuff they are already taxing. Then they start adding the stuff that they originally told us that they wouldn’t charge a sales tax on. It never ends, they see it as a true golden goose. They completely discount the amount of money that the border stores would lose in sales – did you know the Cosco near Vancouver (but on this side of the river) does the largest volume of any Cosco store? If we had a sales tax do you REALLY think the volume would stay the same?

    Thanks again Captain – you and folks who think like you will continue to drag this once wonderful state into a socialistic nightmare.

    • Captain_Anon


      using your thinking, it wouldn’t matter where the tax burden is: income or sales. because the legislature would find a way to raise it no matter what. so that argument doesn’t fly. it’s a zero-sum argument. so the benefits of a more stable tax revenue source would still make more sense.

      But i am not as skeptical as you. I think the people would hold people accountable. and if they vote people into office who raise the taxes, then based upon our respresentative democracy, the majority would have spoken. but they would even if it was based soley on income tax. seriously, if you don’t like how the legislature does it’s work, *RUN FOR OFFICE* and do something about it rather then get all inflamed on message boards of some internet page.

      you have to live in reality. if 80% of every dollar goes to personnel costs of a school, then it is what it is. that doesn’t mean you stop funding them so that we can stuff kids in the classroom like sardines. it means you start putting yoru money where your mouth is so to speak and start working on the areas that affect that. and currently, system development fees DON’T have anything to do with that. that has to do with the contracts that school districts have with thier employers. so go bark up that tree. it’s amazing to me how people seem to connect issues that really have no connection here. never mind that additional kids does in fact require additional teachers. unless you like having 30 to 40 kids per classroom.

      and regarding water usage. there are definitely land owners out there who use more than their fair share. more than the state allocates to them. water rights in the west are insanely complicated due to how the system was set up in the 1800’s and the court rulings of the time.

  • anominal

    While we don’t want more taxes a water meter on every water source would make sense as long as EVERY water source had a meter (no exemptions) and everyone paid the same rate per unit of water (gallon, cubic foot, etc.).
    Right now not only does our government give away water to some very big water users they also give away the electric power to pump it – in some cases literally pumping the water out from underneath adjacent properties. When I say give away I’m not saying that it costs these users nothing but it costs almost nothing because the taxpayer funded subsidies.
    What’s wrong with paying for what you use and everybody paying the same rate for a valuable natural resource?

  • Eileen

    Paying for water is ridiculous.
    Paying for the delivery of water, and the infrastructure required to deliver safe water is completely fair.

    Since water is a renewable natural resource, and I doubt anyone with a well is extracting more than their share, it is completely ridiculous and unfair to charge for this water.
    Is there any tax funded service, directly correlated with the amount of water extracted from a well? I doubt it.
    I can see a base fee, to cover the cost of regulating wells, but this would not be dependent on metering the water.

    For now this is just a rumor anyway, but anything to make the Oregon legislature look bad is fair game here, right?

    As for a sales tax, I am in favor of one, as long as it reduces other taxes.
    For the group that thinks the high earners pay more than their fair share of taxes, it seems that a sales tax (to replace some income tax) would shift this burden. Is that what is being proposed?

    I think I liked the idea of the beer tax, car insurance tax and grape (or what it cherry) tax far better than a home tax. This home tax might actually effect me.

  • Rooster55

    I am against ANY new tax. Hell, I am against most OLD taxes. The only way I would vote for a sales tax would be if there was a constitutional ammendment that would ELIMINATE income tax for all eternity and provide for extremely limited growth in the sales tax. Perhaps not even using growth in the sales tax but fluctuation of tax dependant on unemployment, per capita income, or some other indicator of relative weath. That way, the sales tax would be lowered or raised by a predefined amount depending on the state of the state.