The days are numbered for Oregon shoppers who've enjoyed an automatic sales tax exemption across the Columbia River. The Washington Legislature passed a bill in its 2019 session, changing the way the tax break works for its neighbors. Tuesday, Gov. Jay Inslee signed it into law at a ceremony with its supporters.
“This will generate revenue to the state for essential services and programs," Inslee said.
Washington charges a 6.5% sales tax. With this new change in law, Oregon residents will no longer be free of sales tax at the cash register. Instead, they'll need to submit an annual application to Washington asking for the reimbursement of sales taxes they've paid in excess of $25.
Thirty-eight members of the Washington Legislature asked Inslee to veto the part of the bill that creates the remittance program.
They argued that businesses near the Oregon border will suffer and that the program will damage relationships with Oregon lawmakers.