Measure 103: Vote No | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Measure 103: Vote No

Bans taxes on groceries

Oregon has no statewide sales tax, and Oregonians, by and large, have tended to be fairly steadfast in not wanting to enact one. While Measure 103 might seem like a move in favor of preventing that for good through a constitutional amendment, it could have unintended consequences. Measure 103 would prevent the enactment or increase of any state or local tax, fee or assessment on the sale of groceries, defined as "raw or processed food or beverages intended for human consumption," excluding alcohol, tobacco and marijuana—and it would do so by amending the state constitution. That's going too far.

The Measure's language is too vague to support for a number of reasons. The words "raw and processed food" is too vague and could mean a ban on taxing food and beverages at any point in the supply chain. That means, even if voters here in our area wanted to impose a local tax on corporations importing groceries or other food, it would be barred in the constitution. What's more, the language of the bill does not include exemptions for e-cigarettes and vaping supplies—which means those products would not be allowed to be taxed should this measure pass. There's too much grey area in this Measure. Vote No on Measure 103.
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