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Bill to require Oregonians to pay sales tax in Washington passes House

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VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) — Simply flashing your ID to avoid paying sales tax in Washington might no longer be an option for Oregonians.

A bill that just passed the House would require out-of-state customers to pay sales tax on most purchases, something they can avoid right now just by showing their drivers licenses.

State lawmakers see this as a solution to help raise money for a state that needs new revenue, but local businesses in Vancouver fear the bill could be the tipping point to running them out of business.

In the border town of Vancouver, business is heavily dependent on customers from the Portland-metro area.

“I think it would really hurt us economically in long run, especially in the small-business sector,” said Everybody’s Music Manager Joel Mulligan.

Mulligan says their shop is the only shop of its kind in the city, and their only competition is in Portland.

He says the store needs any sale it can get right now, so much so that if the bill becomes law, he’d still find a way to let Oregon customers get out of paying sales tax.

“Honestly, even if the bill passed and someone from Oregon came in and bought $30 worth of stuff, and asked me about paying tax on it, I’d pay the tax to make the sale,” said Mulligan.

“I’d pay it, instead of losing the customer and risking them not coming back anymore.”

The bill already passed in the Washington House and is now in the Senate.

There is an amendment to the bill that could allow Oregonians to apply for a rebate on the sales tax they pay in Washington, but they would only be able to file that form once a year.

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5 comments

  • Carl Constantine

    Well lets hope that Oregon doesn't require that people from Washington State pay Oregon taxes, otherwise I will no longer be able to have fun on vacation. I never take vacation in Washington. Too many TAXES on everything you do. When Washington State starts collecting taxes on internet purchases, I'll start buying everything "used but in good condition" on Craigslist. I'm tired of paying high taxes for the Washington State Legislature to squander with frivolous spending and to help pay Christine Gregoire's ridiculously high retirement pension. Our state government has driven our state economy into a state that is controlled by the New World Order.

  • YoungMitch

    as a business, you need to have a tax form from oregon proving that the customer was an oregon citizen. showing your license to avoid paying taxes wont hold up on an audit from the ol' irs.

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