Kitzhaber Re-Election Bid Built on Tax Proposal

kitzhaberIn 1934, a sales tax in Oregon was put on the ballot. According to the Willamette Weekly, 29% of voters thought it was a good idea, and that was the best percentage the idea ever received. Oregon has vetoed a sales tax nine times, although apparently our governor believes the tenth time might be the charm.

John Kitzhaber, now running for his fourth term as Oregon’s governor, proposed to enforce a sales tax on his citizens in his kick-off campaign speech this December. He was met by some raised eyebrows and a few fellow Democrats nodding their heads. The sales tax, according to Kitzhaber, would decrease income tax and increase revenue, thus creating more jobs.

Sales tax has never shown itself to create jobs any more than a raised income tax has over the years, and frankly, the people don’t want the change for other reasons – it’s annoying to be unable to walk up to a register knowing exactly how much one is going to pay. Figuring out 5% of $34.98 while waiting in line is not my personal idea of a cheap thrill ($1.75, in case your head started hurting).

And without delving too much into the economics, is a policy that has failed this many times something to really bank on in an election? Perhaps Kitzhaber has a rabbit up his sleeve.

by Addie Maguire