This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 21, 2003 12:56 AM. The previous post in this blog was Thought for the night. The next post in this blog is A question of priorities. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2003


Now that the Multnomah County income tax has passed, some questions arise:

1. Will the retroactivity of the tax be challenged in court? It purports to tax income back to Jan. 1, 2003, but it wasn't enacted until May 20. Is that kosher under Oregon law?

2. Will there be withholding of the county tax from residents' paychecks? Apparently not, which will make this a very, very unpopular tax when people have to pay it come next April 15. Most wage earners religiously have too much tax withheld from their pay, so that they get a nice tax refund every year. When they write a check for taxes for the first time in their lives, some workers are going to be quite unhappy.

3. Will a separate county tax return be required, beyond the Oregon state return? Apparently, yes.

4. Will there be widespread noncompliance? For the first few years at least, yes. Will the county prosecutors, courts and jails have the money and space to prosecute and incarcerate scofflaws? Doubtful.

5. Will people who work in Multnomah County but live elsewhere be subject to the tax? No. Will highrollers move from the West Hills to Lake Oswego to save a few thou a year in Multnomah County tax? Remains to be seen.

6. Are the proponents of Measure 26-48 kidding when they proclaim "And now on to Salem!" and "In a few years, we'll have a sales tax"? They must be.

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