Lawmakers eye taxing tourists as gold mine

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By Oregon Small Business Association,

Many of the new taxes unveiled this month involve taxing tourists. This is important because Oregon just doubled the hotel and lodging tax back in 2016 and now lawmakers are eyeing the tourists that visit those hotels.

Senate Bill 28 would tax tourists in many ways from what they buy to where they stay.  SB 28 would more than double the license to operate a public swimming pool or spa. SB 28 allows a hike in what recreation parks can charge. It allows increases in bed and breakfast facility fees, vending machine license fees and certain restaurant fees.

At the same time there are bills to raise taxes on leisure products like beer, wine and liquor (HB 2125 beer, wine). And taxes on vaping and tobacco and cigars (HB 2270 tobacco tax, HB 2158 cigar tax). Some of the tobacco taxes would be more than 200% increase.

Then there is the general business taxes being proposed (HB2162, HB2147,HB 2153,HB 2148, SB 206 , SB 207, SB 211). Many of the business bills related to the corporate minimum (HB 2146, HB 2160, HB 2163) which could mean hotels, restaurants and stores will be paying more whether they make a profit or not.

These business taxes and tourist taxes could raise nearly a billion dollars in new taxes for the state. That tax bite would definitely hurt and impact the tourist industry. It also could increase prices across the board for tourists which would reduce tourists spending and reduce the amount of revenue being generated. Oregon already suffered a $51 million blow to the tourism industry because of the disastrous wildfire of 2018.

Below are some of the bills mentioned in this article…

— Bills relating to tourist taxes

Senate Bill 28 — Relating to Oregon Health Authority fee amounts. Increases fees related to tourist facilities, public spas, pools and bathhouses, bed and breakfasts, restaurants and vending machines and for plan review for restaurant construction or remodeling.

— Bills related to taxing tobacco, cigarettes

House Bill 2270 – Increases tax on distribution of cigarettes.

House Bill 2158 Relating to taxation of cigars; prescribing an effective date.

— Bills related to taxing alcohol, liquor, wine…

Senate Bill 248 — Relating to Oregon Liquor Control Commission fees; declaring an emergency. Increases certain fees charged by Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

House Bill 2125 Increases privilege taxes imposed upon manufacturer or importing distributor of malt beverages or wine.

– Bills relating to business taxes

Senate Bill 206 — Relating to taxes imposed upon corporations; prescribing an effective date. Requires corporation with Oregon sales in excess of $100,000 to file corporate excise tax or corporate income tax return.

Senate Bill 207 — Relating to apportionment of corporate income. Modifies methods for calculating numerator used in apportionment of business income for purposes of corporate excise taxation.

Senate Bill 211 — Relating to taxation; Reduces amount of income eligible for elective reduced personal income tax rate allowed for certain pass-through income.

House Bill 2162 Relating to apportionment of corporate income; prescribing an effective date.— Modifies methods for calculating numerator used in apportionment of business income for purposes of corporate excise taxation

House Bill 2163 Relating to the corporate minimum tax; prescribing an effective date; providing for revenue raising that requires approval by a three-fifths majority.— Increases corporate minimum tax imposed on certain corporations

House Bill 2160 Relating to application of corporate minimum tax to out of state corporation; prescribing an effective date.— Requires out-of-state corporation making sales into state to pay corporate minimum tax

House Bill 2145 Relating to state finance; prescribing an effective date; providing for revenue raising that requires approval by a three-fifths majority.— Increases corporate excise tax rates

House Bill 2146 Relating to the corporate minimum tax; prescribing an effective date; providing for revenue raising that requires approval by a three-fifths majority.— Increases corporate minimum tax imposed on S corporations

House Bill 2147 Modifies methods for calculating numerator used in apportionment of business income for purposes of corporate excise taxation— Requires sales of all members of unitary group of corporations to be included in numerator of Oregon apportionment percentage if any member is taxable in state.

House Bill 2153 Relating to tax treatment of pass-through income; prescribing an effective date.— Reduces amount of income eligible for elective reduced personal income tax rate allowed for certain pass-through income

House Bill 2148 Relating to taxes imposed upon corporations; prescribing an effective date.— Relating to taxes imposed upon corporations; prescribing an effective date.

House Bill 2156 Relating to state finance; prescribing an effective date; providing for revenue raising that requires approval by a three-fifths majority.— Increases corporate excise tax rates