Why NO on 103?

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  • #2684

    Darlene Colborn

    Why does the union support taxing our groceries? I know the language is confusing, but in this case NO means YES.  “Amends the Oregon Constitution to PROHIBIT taxes/fees”.  Please re-think this.  Taxes on our groceries only means our groceries cost us more.

  • #2685

    Bryan Lally

    I agree, the wording of ballot measure 103 is confusing, as you say, and I find some of the supporting ads outright misleading. As you know, there is currently no sales tax in Oregon, on groceries or anything else. If measure 103 is defeated (if the “No” wins), that would not pave the way for a sales tax to be placed on groceries. It would simply mean that if there were any taxes levied on businesses in the future, grocery businesses would also be subject to that tax.

    If it passes (if the “Yes” wins), any future taxes levied on businesses would exclude grocery stores. It’s basically an effort by the grocery business to avoid being taxed any differently than they currently are. Turns out that 91% of the funding for the Yes on 103 campaign has come from Albertsons, Safeway, Kroger, and Costco. I get that a tax on grocery chains would be passed along to consumers, but that’s true of any tax. And if this is successful, no doubt other industries would be gunning for their own loophole.

    I’ve also heard it is an effort to avoid any taxes on sugary drinks. A couple cities, including Seattle, currently tax soft drinks and other sugary drinks. Multnomah County floated a similar idea a couple years ago, and it was quickly crushed by the soft drink lobby.

  • #2691

    Tasha Drake

    I am also very confused why people are saying to vote no on 103. I signed the petition to get this on the ballot and strongly am against taxing food – ever. It’s already hard enough for people to make ends meet. The thought of taxing food – ever – is wrong on every level. If Oregon ever goes the way of sales tax, food should be exempt. I appreciate your breaking this down to better understand what the measure means but am still completely baffled why people are voting no on this.

  • #2702

    Marcus Swift

    Unfortunately, the measure is so poorly written, that it fails to exempt a lot of grocery and personal items from taxes. Items like medicine, diapers, even toilet paper can still be taxed under this measure. All this measure does is create a tax loophole in the Oregon Constitution specifically for a few big corporations – while still expecting hardworking families to be taxed on other items. Worst of all – it would be locked into our state constitution, which would make it incredibly difficult to fix or remove.

    That’s why newspapers all around the state are urging a “No” vote on Measure 103. As the Medford Mail Tribune says: “Bad enough that a single industry should get special tax protection enshrined in the state Constitution, but this measure’s language is so confusing that it’s difficult to know what else it might do.” http://mailtribune.com/opinion/editorials/a-bad-idea-badly-written

  • #2746

    Tasha Drake

    Thanks Marcus, this helps a lot.

  • #2771

    barbara Bailey

    Measure 103 is intentionally written to deceive people into saying yes to a sales tax – which Oregonians have repeatedly voted down. By making a promise that food will never be taxed (and it is NOT taxed now) they will be creating a sales tax on all non-edible items like toilet paper, toothpaste, cat food, etc… Alcohol is not protected with food, so your beer and wine will be taxed.

    Simply put:

    A “Yes” vote creates a sales tax on all non-edible-by-humans items (pet food will be taxable)

    A “No” vote retains NO sales tax on ANYTHING, which is what we have now.

    Oregonians have in the past voted down numerous attempts to create a sales tax. This is a way to trick people into voting FOR a sales tax they could get no other way, by promising they will exclude human food from the tax.



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