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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Here comes the Oregon sales tax again, cont'd

As we understand it, both houses of the Oregon legislature are going to be controlled by the Democrats for the next two years. With the governor of the same persuasion, you can expect "tax reform" to be a big topic. And that is likely to include talk of a sales tax -- but just an itty-bitty one, of course, "for the children."

Comments (20)

Might as well as they have already spent all of the money.

There after all there are a couple of people still here and not all of the businesses have moved out yet.

I would gladly vote for the following:

-Cut income rate to 5%

-Institute sales tax of 5% (exempt groceries/stables/unprepared food)

Why? It will force all the player's in Oregon's MASSIVE cash underground economy to contribute. Why should the folks growing pot and easily clearing $50-60k/yr pay ZERO when they go to buy that big ol' flatscreen?

Opposing any and all sales taxes is a religion in Oregon...a bipartisan religion!

I'd have no problem with a sales tax, provided it was fixed at 5% (with cities/counties allowed an additional 2%, so a maximum sales tax rate of 7%; however if a city/county does so they must lower or waive property taxes), dedicated to general government, with an income tax of 5-10% dedicated to education (exemption on first $25,000 income, $25,001-$100,000 at 5%, over $100K at 10%), and counties and cities get dibs on the property tax.

There is, of course, one little problem. We all know the Capitol will monkey with it, change it, increase it, use Peter to pay Paul, etc.

Such a tax scheme would have to not just be in the Constitution, but also a clause that prohibits the Legislature or the Governor from even suggesting a change to it, participating in a change, or putting anything to a vote - even if they are acting as a private citizen through the initative process - with the penalty being 10 years in prison PLUS permanent loss of any ability to vote in the state, work in or for government, or receive any government assistance or benefits.

And that is likely to include talk of a sales tax -- but just an itty-bitty one, of course, "for the children."

And temporary, too.

You think that a sales tax will force the underground cash economy to contribute?

That's delusional.

The Democrats should know better than to push sales taxes...they are inherently regressive. That means that they are bad for those at the lower end of the income scale. Oh, sure...they can be made less regressive by exempting a selection of items, but those have a tendency of becoming taxable in revenue crunches...heaven knows that never happens here. Then, that 'just a tiny sales tax' becomes a growing percentage over time. Just ask any local where a sales tax has been in place for any time....what starts as a 'tiny percentage' eventually becomes not so tiny, particularly when cities, counties, and special districts all pile on. It's best that it not even be allowed in the tent, even the 'nose'.

And...Business owners? Are you all ready to be the tax collector for the state/county/city? And, are you all ready for the creation of yet another tax collection bureaucracy on top of making each and every business owner a tax collector?

Instead of a sales tax to vex us all, why not just adjust the current tax tools so that the likes of big-time developers are paying their fair share (like everything the own)...in other words, stop giving away tax revenues to the entirely undeserving and unneedy as subsidies and close the leaking loopholes before we create another vehicle which could, and probably will, grow into another monster.

I'm curious why the sales tax fans always trot out the underground economy and claim it doesn't contribute.
Is that underground economy also smuggling in it's own food and fuel ?
Last time I looked those pot growers and meth cookers were buying those good from businesses.. Businesses who employ people and pay taxes.
The whole sales tax push is just another game of three card monte where in the end the public pays more than they did before.

I'd have no problem with a sales tax, provided it was fixed at 5% (with cities/counties allowed an additional 2%, so a maximum sales tax rate of 7%

Right there you would be introducing complications. There is no easy way for many businesses to determine if a sale is within a particular city or county. Boundaries are difficult to determine and zip codes are of little help.

We should be striving for tax simplification not additional burdens.

"The Democrats should know better than to push sales taxes...they are inherently regressive."

What Democrats might find even more inherently regressive is the PERS deficit that is going to be lopping employees out of agencies that are having to devote increasing hunks, large hunks, of their budgets to funding them. The bloc of unions that own the party would much rather raise taxes anywhere than reduce those benefits, which doubtfully could be accomplished in time to alleviate the crisis over the next 20 years.

Because they've never been able to pass a sales tax, Oregonians have chosen measures that single out a certain group of people instead.

My great idea is to make buying lottery tickets mandatory. Each man, woman and child will have to buy X many lottery tickets a week at Y price, thereby expanding a system already in place, and highly regressive albeit voluntarily so, and spreading the joy.

What we have in Oregon is a spending problem. The Dems however (including both the Rep and Dingbat Senator in my district) think there is not enough revenue coming in to state coffers. Any tax package will liklely include feeding their greedy spending habits and be anything but revenue neutral. If the Dems get their way, be prepared to pay a larger percentage of your income on social engineering programs that are aimed at dictating how you live and move about.

A sales tax is coming. If only because the state has an insatiable appetite for new money and this is probably the only big thing left.

Out here, we have exactly the opposite situation as Oregon. The Texas State Consitution has three separate amendments banning a state income tax, but our sales tax more than makes up for it. Right now, for instance, as a small businessman, I'm having to collect a 9 1/4% sales tax to render unto Rick Perry. Every few years, we get another push from the (overwhelmingly Republican) Legislature to raise the sales tax to pay for another boondoggle, and the pressure is even stronger to do so with individual cities.

The sad state of affairs? The only thing an Oregon state sales tax will improve will be retail businesses on the other side of the Columbia River. Right now, what's the point of having any significant stores in Vancouver when everyone just hops into Portland to buy everything from baby food to RVs? Other than that, the money will disappear no matter what party is in charge. If it's a temporary increase, trust that it'll become permanent. If it becomes permanent, a lot of the incentive to shop in Oregon, particularly in Portland, goes right out the window, and you might as well shut down downtown when that happens. I'll also add that any sales tax had best be met with a corresponding drop in state income taxes, or else the only reason to live in Oregon versus Washington goes out the window as well.

"I'd have no problem with a sales tax, provided it was fixed at 5% (with cities/counties allowed an additional 2%, so a maximum sales tax rate of 7%"

BWA-HA-HA! That's how Cali started out. Now we're up to 13% income tax and some sales taxes are pushing 9% locally.

I'd have no problem with a sales tax if they cancel the income tax (a la Sizemore's ballot measure a few years back).

I have a hard time believing the sales tax in Texas more than makes up for a lack of an income tax, unless you're a huge spender or have a very low income.

As for the point that sales taxes just go up, well the same can be said for the Oregon income tax. There's constant pressure from the public employee unions to raise it. I'd like to see a balanced sales and income tax that is locked into the constitution. Everyone pays, including those who pay nothing now, like many independent contractors and our tourists.

Sales tax? Sure. Let's trade it out for the income tax.

Sally, I have long had an idea similar to yours for the compulsory purchase of lottery tickets -- a somewhat simpler one: a drawing is held, using social security numbers. If your number is drawn, the state takes everything you own. We do this as often as necessary to make ends meet. It's a way of making sure everyone gets to play.

Here's an idea - I'd have no problem with a property tax, provided it was fixed at 5% (with cities/counties allowed an additional 2%, so a maximum property tax rate of 7%; however if a city/county does so they must waive income taxes), dedicated to general government, but with a little twist.

Every homeowner would set the value of his or her property as of January 1st. They can choose any value they wish, but they have to sell the property at that price to anyone who wants to purchase the property.

Take your chances that nobody wants to buy even though you set a low value or set it high if you don't want to sell.

Buyers could spend a year canvassing homes they would like to buy. If the price is right they buy on January 1st.

Hey, it makes as much sense as a sales tax.

Oregonians have voted down a sales tax at least 8 times. Usually goes down 3-1.
Anyone who remembers California's start of the sales tax at 2% will probably never vote for one here. (and WA will never have an income tax)

John, I like that idea. A LOT. Among other things, it would shoot, right in the foot, that gibberish that you hear so often about house values: "Well, Some Guy told me it was worth THIS MUCH, and that's why I'm selling it for even more."

Oregon richly deserves everything it gets.

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