Sunday, April 9, 2017

Washington Taxes Like Texas Among Nation's Most Unfair While Oregonians Pump Gas

I saw what you see here this morning on the front page of the online version of the Seattle Times.

 I don't think this quite falls into the popular category of things I read in west coast online news sources which I would likely not be reading in a Texas online news source about a similar subject in Texas.

What caught my attention here is the last line in the screen cap, "Taxes like Texas: Washington's system among nation's most unfair".

Does that mean Texas has a national reputation for unfair taxes? I was not aware of this. I was aware that neither Texas or Washington have a state income tax, a fact, which according to this article, renders a state's tax system to be unfair.

There were a lot of comments to this Washington state ranks nearly last in new tax-transparency index article with many of the commenters objecting to the ranking criteria and the conclusions rendered.

According to this ranking index Oregon has the most transparent, and thus fair, state tax system in America.

Oregon has a state income tax, but no sales tax.

Living most of my time on the planet in Washington I thought it just the way of the world that a state could be so different from neighboring states. Til I moved to Texas, where the main difference I have noticed between Texas and its neighboring states is the neighboring states all have a lot of casinos, while Texas only has a couple casinos, due to only having a couple Indian Reservations, due to Texas having removed most of the Native population from Texas.

Oregon not having a sales tax creates some problems for the state on its northern  border, due to Washingtonians living near the border crossing over to Oregon to buy stuff so as to avoid the Washington sales tax. I do not know if it still the case, but whilst I lived in Washington a set distance from the Oregon border was exempt from charging the Washington sales tax. Such as Vancouver, across the Columbia River from Portland.

I do not know if California or Idaho or Nevada areas which border Oregon also exempt their state's sales tax. I suspect it is not an issue due to the fact that there are no large populated areas of the Vancouver size in Northern California or Western Idaho or Northern Nevada.

Another thing different in Oregon which was as noticeable as the lack of a sales tax was the lack of self-service gas stations. You know, where you pump your own gas.

I do not know if it is still the case, but when self-service gas stations became the national norm, Oregon rebelled, not wanting to lose the availability of the professional gas pumper career path.

I always forget I can simply Google to find out something, like the current status of Oregon gas pumping. Took two seconds to find out a change is in the legislative works as to how Oregon pumps gas...

SALEM -- Drivers in half of Oregon's counties may soon be able to pump their own gas 24 hours a day after the state House approved a bill to that effect Thursday.

The bill passed 56-0 and now heads to the Senate.

If passed by the Senate and signed into law by Gov. Kate Brown, people shopping for gas in counties with fewer than 40,000 people will be able to pump their own at all hours. Affected counties would include Baker, Clatsop, Crook, Curry, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Hood River, Jefferson, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Tillamook, Union, Wallowa, Wasco and Wheeler counties, according to the most recent population estimates.

The bill would require gas stations in those 18 counties to still make attendants available for pumping gas between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. if the retail portion of the station is open.

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