Salem’s Taxation Without Representation

Be on the lookout for public employees throwing tea into the Willamette River. The City of Salem is trying to tax people who work for state government, regardless of whether or not they live in Salem.

At a Salem City Council meeting this week, Councilor Julie Hoy tried to repeal the referendum to voters to impose a 0.814% municipal income tax on all workers employed by Salem-based employers. That’s almost a whole percentage point in added income tax, a non-trivial tax increase. As the capital of Oregon, the State of Oregon is a Salem-based employer, and all state workers of Salem-headquartered agencies will have to pay the tax.

The vote failed 3-6. It will now go to voters, but only voters who live in Salem.

Eric Shierman lives in Salem and is the author of We were winning when I was there.