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The Portland Tribune reports that petitioners have submitted close to 180,000 signatures to the Oregon Secretary of State’s office, calling for a referendum on a constitutional amendment that would ban any taxation on groceries in the state.

Once verified - the number is far more than the 117,578 needed - the referendum would be placed on the ballot on November 6.

According to the story, “Initiative Petition 37 would prohibit local or state taxes on all food for consumption, except for alcohol, tobacco and marijuana. Personal hygiene products were excluded from the measure, based on the results of the campaign's internal polling.”

The Tribune quotes Joe Gilliam, president of the Northwest Grocery Association, as saying: ”Since statehood, Oregon has never taxed groceries, yet politicians in Oregon continue to push for a tax on grocery sales. This initiative will end these efforts and other future efforts by proactively prohibiting the taxing of groceries from farm-to-fork.”

But, the story says, “Katherine Dreissen, spokeswoman for Our Oregon, a labor-backed social justice political group, said the measure is an attempt by major retailers to prevent lawmakers from passing a gross receipts tax. Our Oregon campaigned for a gross receipts tax in 2016, which voters rejected, but lawmakers have since discussed passing a more moderate tax to help raise revenue for schools and social services … Driessen said the initiative isn't aimed at protecting consumers. ‘It's about padding the pockets of Walmart, Safeway and other big retailers that have already spent more than $2 million to qualify this measure’.”
KC's View:
I do know this. Once these kinds of taxes are imposed, they only get higher. They never go away.

I learned this the hard way. When I moved to Connecticut in 1984, there was no state income tax. Now, we are the sixth highest income tax state. (And we’re still a fiscal mess.)