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Hood River County is proposing a 5% Sales Tax on Meals that will dramatically impact local residents, restaurant employees and small business operators.

Since 2006, the county has pulled over $7 million out of its Reserve Fund to balance each year’s budget rather than find a solution.

Now, the County wants to put a 5% sales tax on meals dramatically impacting Hood River residents, restaurant employees and small business operators. Measure 14-66 targets our friends, neighbors and families with an unfair, unpredictable sales tax on meals.

6 Reasons A Sales Tax on Meals Is the Wrong Way to Pay for County Services

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Sales Tax On Meals Will Impact Local Residents

Supporters of this sales tax on meals have said they don’t want this burden to be placed on taxpayers, but it will. Visitors to Hood River County are seasonal and come here only 3-4 months out of the year but residents who are here 12 months out of the year will pay the sales tax every time they go out to eat.

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Sales Tax on Meals Will Impact Restaurant Employees

Servers, baristas and waitstaff who rely on tips from customers will now find those tips in decline as customers have to deal with an additional 5% sales tax on their meals. Faced with deciding how much to tip their server, customers will now have to factor in the added five percent more they are paying without receiving anything additional.

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Sales Tax on Meals Will Impact Small Businesses

This 5% sales tax on meals is essentially a 5% price increase on an industry that cannot afford it. With increasing wage costs, food costs and higher rents, operators in the restaurant industry already struggle to make ends meet and take care of their employees.

On average nationally, restaurants only make 3-5% profit so a 5% sales tax on meals will be devastating. In addition, other small business operators will be impacted by this sales tax as residents and visitors have less money to spend in their place of business.

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Sales Tax on Meals Is Unfair

Picking on a single industry and asking them to shoulder the burden for the entire county is unfair. The services the county is asking restaurants to pay for will benefit the entire county. A 5% sales tax on meals is like asking one neighborhood to pay property taxes for the rest of the county.

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Sales Tax on Meals is Unpredictable

A sales tax on meals is not a predictable, steady stream of income to pay for public safety services. During an economic downturn, sales will decline and so will funding for police and public safety.

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Sales Tax Already Failed

As recently as 2018, the county commission tried to implement a county-wide sales tax proposal, which residents protested and fought against. The commission then decided it would be too complicated to implement and administer so it was dropped. After failing to raise money with a county-wide sales tax, the commission has chosen to target small businesses and restaurants likely hoping there will be less opposition.

Show Your Support and Get Involved

Vote NO!

Show Your Support for Residents and Restaurant Employees by Voting NO!

  • Vote NO on the Sales Tax on Meals!
  • Vote NO to unfair taxes on restaurants!
  • Vote NO to hurting local residents!
  • Vote NO to hurting restaurant employees and their families!
  • Vote NO to targeting small business operators!
  • Vote NO to a bad idea!
  • Vote NO on Measure 14-66!

Write a Letter to the Editor

Write a letter to the editor, talk to your neighbors, take a lawn sign or donate to the campaign and show your support for residents, restaurant employees and small business by voting NO!

Donate

Please mail checks made out to “ORLALAC” to

ORLA
8565 SW Salish Ln., Ste. 120
Wilsonville, OR 97070

ORLALAC is a Political Action Committee dedicated to supporting or opposing local candidates and/or measures on behalf of the hospitality industry.

Show Your Support for Residents and Restaurant Employees by Voting NO!

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