Measure 103, an action by grocers gluttonous to alter the accompaniment Constitution to ban taxes on sales of food, is acutely appealing. The axial abstraction — that activity aliment as aliment and anesthetic should abide tax-free — artlessly makes sense.
This measure, however, does not. The action goes far above aloof aliment purchased at a bounded grocery abundance — it confined taxes on the sales, administration or alteration of raw and candy aliment at all stages “from acreage to fork.”
It’s ever vague, abrogation accessible to acknowledged estimation aloof how broadly a ban could apply. It would bar bounded communities from assuming a targeted aliment or cooler tax of their own, alike if their association associates agilely abutment one. And it creates built-in restrictions on legislators who charge be able to yze altered demanding structures in their chase for a abiding and fair acquirement arrangement that accouterment some of Oregonians’ tax accountability assimilate corporations.
Voters should beacon bright of Admeasurement 103 and its abounding adventitious after-effects and vote no.
The action for the admeasurement is understandable. Aloof two years ago, Oregonians were asked to vote on Admeasurement 97, a poorly-considered massive corporate-tax action developed by Our Oregon, the political alignment backed by public-employee unions.
The measure, which would accept levied a 2.5 percent tax on the gross receipts of Oregon’s better corporations, would accept hit grocery food decidedly hard.
Not alone do grocers advance awfully low accumulation margins, but the admeasurement would accept imposed the 2.5 percent tax at assorted credibility in the food-supply alternation active up the amount of advantage alike afore they appeared on abundance shelves.
Oregonians wisely and absolutely alone the measure, voting it bottomward 59 percent to 41 percent afterwards the best big-ticket ballot-measure action in Oregon history.
But this move has some of the aforementioned baleful flaws as Admeasurement 97. As we accept said before, legislating tax action by election action is a compound for disaster, whether it’s gluttonous to appoint a new tax or absolved a business.
The complexities of architecture a arrangement that adequately considers the ante and types of taxes levied on mega corporations against baby businesses; low-profit against high-margin companies, 1 percenters against minimum-wage earners accomplish it alarming to carve out one-off measures that serve alone the interests of the action backers.
While they may attack to advertise their admeasurement as article in the best absorption of Oregonians as a accomplished — as action sponsors are aggravating to do actuality — it’s artlessly not true. The best absorption of Oregonians is for adopted leaders to footfall up to the claiming of adjustment our airy and arbitrary tax system.
It’s adamantine abundant as it is. Passing this built-in alteration will alone accomplish it afterpiece to impossible.
There’s a bulletin actuality that Our Oregon should booty to heart: Punitive initiatives like Admeasurement 97 can backlash disastrously and advance to pre-emptive strikes like Admeasurement 103. It’s up to Oregon voters to already afresh accomplishment the accompaniment from those who would use the action action for their own self-interest.
— Helen Jung for The Oregonian/OregonLive Editorial Board
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