A public hearing for an Employee Paid Payroll Tax will be held during the 6pm July 10 Council meeting.

Here is a summary of the components included in the proposed tax:

  • A tax which applies to all wages for work performed in the City of Salem, including self-employment earnings.
  • The proposed rate is .814% (.00814). As currently drafted, no payroll tax would be imposed on those individuals making minimum wage.
  • The tax would be effective as early as July 1, 2024.
  • Included in the proposed ordinance is a provision that the City Council would refer the payroll tax to voters no later than July 1, 2031 (seven years after implementation). Unless voters approve continuing the payroll tax, it would end on December 31, 2031.

The tax is currently being proposed to be restricted funding, dedicated to police services, fire, emergency services, 9-1-1 call services, code enforcement, unsheltered services, and administration of the payroll tax. The City used one-time pandemic federal dollars to address Council-identified priorities (homeless/sheltering needs) in our community, but in order to keep these programs viable, the City wishes to identify a funding source for its annual budget.


“As currently proposed by the City of Salem, and under consideration for implementation by the Salem City Council, the Chamber Board supports sending the employee-paid payroll tax proposal to a vote of the Salem electorate. Just as residents were entrusted with their vote on the City of Salem’s $300m infrastructure bond, so too should they be entrusted with this decision. The Salem Chamber advocates for additional budgetary prioritization to better reflect the needs of Salem residents, specifically placing funding priority to public safety and infrastructure. The small business community requests that local social service initiatives be financially reprioritized and funded only AFTER public safety and infrastructure have received adequate funding in the City’s annual budgeting.”


In lieu of our regular Business Advocacy Meeting in July, we are instead encouraging members to attend the July 10 Salem City Council meeting to provide testimony. If you are interested in testifying, providing written testimony, or showing support by appearing in person in the audience on July 10, please reach out to Director of Business Advocacy Lena Prine at lena@salemchamber.org.

Privacy PolicyTerms Of ServiceCookie Policy