The Columbian reported recently that there is a bill in the Washington Legislature to end the sales tax exemption for Oregon residents (“House alters sales tax exemption bill,” April 26). The Columbian also quoted that up to 20 percent of local retail sales come from Oregon shoppers.
If you are a business owner, a 20-percent reduction in sales can be enough to cause you to close your doors.
To try to soften the blow, state Rep. Sharon Wylie, D-Vancouver, offered an amendment that would allow Oregonians to accumulate our receipts all year and request a rebate. What is the cost of staff to process thousand of rebate requests with tens of thousands of receipts to authenticate. We won’t do it.
My wife and I live in Oregon and work in Vancouver, as do thousands of other Oregonians. We used to shop Vancouver on our lunch breaks and after work while we waited for rush hour traffic to diminish. We won’t anymore.
If you are a Washington business owner, look at the cost to you of this legislation and then contact your legislator; it might save your business and prevent hundreds of new empty storefronts.