APRIL 30, 2019 – A new Clout Research survey of likely voters statewide in Oregon shows strong opposition to a pair of tax issues now working their way through political circles in Salem. One issue would impose a state sales tax to raise $2 Billion per year that would pay for the Public Employees Retirement System and add some funding to schools, but voters oppose it by a two-to-one margin, this latest survey shows. While just 26% support the measure, 52% oppose it. Twenty-two percent said they are unsure on the question.
A plurality of Democrats supports the measure, as 38% of Dems would vote in favor of it, the survey shows. Another 37% of Dems would oppose it, with the rest undecided. Among Republican voters in Oregon, the measure is opposed by 70%, while 15% of GOPers support it. Among independent, non-aligned, or minor party voters, the new tax measure is opposed by 57% and is supported by 21%.
The other tax measure, relating to the disposition of the so-called “Kicker” tax rebate that is required to be refunded to taxpayers when the state’s economy is good and inflows to state coffers produce a significant surplus, is also opposed by voters by almost a two-to-one margin. The poll measured the popularity of a current plan in Salem to keep this surplus tax money in state accounts and not refund it to taxpayers. Those plans would divert all of the kicker rebates to pay down liabilities in the PERS system, and it is opposed by 54% of voters statewide. Another 28% support this idea, while 18% said they were unsure on the question.
Again, Dems view this second proposal much more favorably than do Republicans. While 42% of Dems support this plan to divert taxpayer rebate funds to public employee retirement accounts, just 15% of Republicans and 22% of independent voters agree with it. Among Democrats, 38% oppose this plan, compared to 74% of Republicans and 57% of independents who also oppose it.
The telephone survey included interviews with 775 likely voters statewide, including respondents in both landline and mobile phone-only households. It was conducted last week, and carries a margin of error of +/- 3.52 percentage points.