“The cost of living in Portland is getting crazy. It’s bad enough when housing costs keep going up, but it hits just as hard when other expenses go up. It all comes from the same pocket.”
– Karen W., Portland resident
One of the drawbacks of living in a beautiful place is it’s typically expensive. Everybody understands that to a point, but we shouldn’t make it harder to afford to live in a place like Portland. That’s what the Measure would do. It taxes companies in Portland for selling everything from internet access, to cell phone service, to clothing and everyday grocery items. It’s a tax on every dollar of sales, not just their profit. What does that mean? It means all of these companies are just going to pass the new tax on to Portlanders in the form of higher prices.
The challenge with the Measure is it’s focused on the right objective – addressing climate change – but it does so by making it more expensive for Portlanders who are least able to pay more. There’s no doubt this tax will result in higher prices for low-income working households and those living on fixed incomes who tend to shop at large retail outlets subject to the tax.
So, what about addressing climate change? Well, Portland households already pay at least a 6 percent fee on their electricity bills to fund the same projects the Measure proposes to fund: renewable energy, energy efficiency, and other initiatives aimed at reducing carbon emissions. Portlanders believe in showing leadership on climate policy, but they’re not willing to pay twice for the same thing when they’re already struggling to afford to live here.