Holy Smokes! Oregon’s New Taxes Has WA Shops Licking Their Chops
An Oregon voter passed tax hike on smokes, Measure 108, has Washington shops licking their chops, ready for a New Year's onslaught of business as Oregonians will surely flock here to avoid an extra $2 a pack increase on cigarettes (tax goes from $1.33-$3.33) and a whopping 65% tax increase on e-cigarettes, vape products and premium cigars, beginning the first of the year.
The passing of Measure 110 in Oregon, decriminalizing the possession of all illegal drugs is getting most of the attention, especially nationally, but Measure 108 was overwhelmingly passed, too, which might be more of a surprise. Measure 108 passed 66%-33%, or 2-1.
Supporters of the measure said it could save thousands of lives in a state where people pay more than a billion dollars a year in smoking-related healthcare costs. Opponents contended the tax would have a disproportionate impact on low-income smokers and will hurt small businesses.
You would expect Portland and surrounding areas to overwhelmingly pass the measure, which they did, by an almost 3-1 margin, but counties that would be considered "conservative" were in support, or just narrowly rejected it. Umatilla County passed the measure 54%-45%, while voters took a pass, in Baker, Morrow and Douglas counties, but it was unexpectedly close,
Measure 108 will boost Oregon coffers as officials anticipate most of the money raised through the new tax will go towards health related programs and anti-smoking/vaping campaigns.
With the passage of Measure 110, Oregonians can no longer be criminally charged for possessing small amounts of illegal drugs, The punishment for these felony and misdemeanor drug possession offenses will now be a simple $100 fine. The initiative also redirects some taxes raised through sales of legal marijuana to finance a new voluntary treatment system for drug users.