Urgent: Oregon Lawmakers to vote on 3% sales tax!

By Taxpayers Association of Oregon


A public hearing has been scheduled on Tuesday February 8th in the House Human Services Committee on HB 4079 which is a 3% sales tax to fund $750 monthly debit cards to the homeless and people under the poverty level.   The sales tax would hit targeted items like electronic goods, computers, cell-phones, handbags, jewelry, hunting rifles and even clothing, all over a certain undefined amount.

There is discussion that the original sales tax language may be changed to only tax high priced items like in the thousands.

There is also discussion in the Capitol that this sales tax would be shifted from homeless and poor to just micro-targeted people like pregnant women and foster homes.

Here is the problem:

• Oregon State Government is already the 4th fattest and 4th biggest state spending state government in America as measured by per-person spending.  This is on top of the billion surplus they stashed into a slush fund last year.  Knowing this, if there is enough money to help pregnant women in Oregon — why don’t the politicians use it instead of raising new taxes?

• Instead of raising new punishing taxes on vulnerable industries and their customers, why shouldn’t government first remove the special corporate welfare it affords to large companies and Hollywood film companies.  Those privileged industries get tens of millions of our tax dollars for special tax breaks.    Overtaxing one group of businesses while lavishing tax breaks to another is unfair.

• This bill is a Trojan horse and a spring-loaded tax trap.   To pass any new tax the law requires a 60% vote for new taxes.  This 60% vote for new taxes rule was part of a superb law passed by voters and placed into our Constitution to slow down new taxes.  However, once a tax is approved, the politicians will (illegally, unlawfully, fraudulently) expand it next year with only 50% vote.  It is a ruse to avoid the 60% tax law approved by voters in the Constitution.   Today, the tax stands at 3%, yet next year it could be changed to 10%.   Today, the tax may apply only to pregnant women, and next year it could be changed and expanded to cover every Oregonian under the poverty level.   As said, once this tax trap is passed, it will take LESS votes to increase it and LESS votes expand it.   The politicians just need to sneak it through once.  This is why there is rumor at the Capitol that this bill is being shrunk in size to make it more politically palatable and less noticeable.

• Once you start offering monthly $750 debit cards to people (homeless, pregnant, etc), word will spread, and it will attract people who do not need it, attract people from out of state, just like other welfare benefits have done.  The Atlantic Magazine called Oregon a “Welfare Utopia”.  We are famous nationwide for our welfare benefits.  This is overwhelming our our social services and our charities and is forcing government to raise taxes even higher — case in point the 3% sales tax.

If you do not like the idea of a 3% sales tax on select items (clothing, phones, accessories of certain value), then please call or email the members of the Committee before the Tuesday Feb 8th hearing:


Oregon House Human Services Committee
Public Hearing on HB 4079

Chair Representative Anna Williams — 503-986-1452 — [email protected]
Vice Representative Ricki Ruiz — 503-986-1450 — [email protected]
Vice Representative Anna Scharf — 503-986-1423 — [email protected]
Representative Travis Nelson — 503-986-1444 — [email protected]
Representative Ron Noble — 503-986-1424 — [email protected]
Representative Mark Owens — 503-986-1460 — [email protected]
Representative Sheri Schouten — 503-986-1427 — [email protected]

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