Washington state consumers have long traveled to Oregon to take advantage of its lack of sales tax. A recent change to state law has revealed how much Washington businesses have relied on clientele from Oregon.
Two months after the sales tax exemption was changed, some Clark County businesses fret that they’ll see a drop in sales.
For decades, Don Thompson has sold tables, chairs and other furniture at America the Beautiful Dreamer. During that time, he’s seen customers with both Oregon and Washington license plates in the parking lot at his Orchards store.
But over the summer, he said, some would-be customers from across the Columbia River suddenly declined to make purchases because shopping at his store had become more expensive.
The change to state law makes it difficult for residents of states with no sales tax, such as Oregon, to get an exemption to Washington’s sales tax.