Oregon Shoppers, Heads Up! No More WA Sales Tax Exemption
Legislators say it will generate at least $53 million in annual revenue for Washington state, opponents say it's going to noticeably drop levels of shopping by Oregonians-especially in counties bordering the Beaver State.
As one of a number of 11th hour, under darkness votes as the legislature scurried to adjourn, the Washington State House and Senate did away with the decades old sales tax exemption for Oregon residents who buy in WA. It will also affect the handful of other states with such a policy, as well as British Columbia.
Oregon residents, who pay an income tax, would just present their ID in a Washington store and would not have to pay the 6.5 percent tax. With certain local taxes in some cities, they could save as much as 9.5 percent. But that is gone now.
Supporters say the revenue is needed to support government programs, opponents say the ripple effect will hurt Benton, Franklin, Walla Walla and other counties who attract a lot of Oregon shoppers who come here to save some money.
Oregonians will be able to submit one $25 voucher per year if they save their receipts from all Washington purchases. But Republican legislators, most of whom fought the bill, say this won't really help those who buy larger ticket items such as cars or RV's.
The exemption will go away starting January 1, 2020.
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