Sales Tax Plan — What Politicians Purposefully Left Out

HB 2530 creates a 5% sales tax with some enticing tax cuts to capitol gains, estate taxes and personal income taxes (from 9% to 6%).

The Taxpayer Association of Oregon is open minded to any debate about tax reform (including a sales tax), but how come voters are left out of the process”¦again? The people who pay the taxes should have a say in the tax debate. Any legislation should be a referral to voters, not just because it is the right thing to do, but also because taxpayers have rejected nine different sales tax proposals in the past. The more voters express their opinion on a matter somehow gives politicians cause to ignore them even more.

The other disturbing fact is the glaring absence of constitutional protections to keep the sales tax from growing. In 1970 the average sales tax rate was 3.25%, 1980 it rose to 4%, 1990 to 5% and 2004 to nearly 6%. The politicians can promise that the tax is revenue neutral, but it is only a promise and history has already proven otherwise. Without constitutional protections against raising the sales tax or local governments swarming to hitch on their own local tax — this sales tax idea is a tax disaster waiting to happen.

Finally, since Oregon is already in the top spending states per capita in the nation and our budget is about to grow a whopping 20% — shouldn’t the politicians’ chief concern be spending reform before tax reform. No tax system invented by man can truly keep up with the unsustainable and unjustified spending spree we are witnessing.