Oregon shoppers could lose sales tax exemption - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Oregon shoppers could lose sales tax exemption

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KENNEWICK, Wash. -- With the holidays right around the corner, people are stocking up on good deals. But for some the price is even better.

"I think it's a little unfair because that's what everyone should have to do instead of having their own separate rules," says Richland shopper Brandon Reeves who pays Washington sales tax.

State Senator Jerome Delvin agrees with Reeves,"just because you claim Oregon residency, why should that alleviate the sales tax. Again the old argument about it'll hurt business, I just don't think that rings true anymore with today's economy."

Nearly ten years ago Senator Delvin introduced legislation that would tax Oregon shoppers who come into Washington to buy.

That measure went nowhere. Currently, Oregon has no sales tax . Across Washington, it's at 6.5 percent. In the Ti-Cties, local and state taxes combined are 8.3 percent.

Oregon shoppers like Judith Skultety say she may re-think coming across the border so often, "I come up here, but probably not as much."

For this Oregon shopper, she may not have a choice. When the governor listed her proposals for balancing the state's budget, it wasn't just an increase to the Washington sales tax. But, also a repeal to sales tax exemptions for people who live in states like Oregon.

"You'd be better off to drive all the way to Portland to do your Christmas shopping," says Skultety. Finley resident Woody Stanley says leave the tax rates alone,"we don't pay anything to Oregon, and I don't think we should penalize them coming over here."

Lawmakers like representative Brad Klippert say he's against a tax on Oregon shoppers because of the risk of local businesses losing money.

The legislature will consider the proposals in a special session on November 28th and residents will vote in March.

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