Salem, OR – Preliminary results indicate that registered voters in Salem do not support the City Council’s employee-paid payroll tax. Early results show 82% in opposition.

During the July 10 City Council meeting, a Council majority voted to implement a tax on all work performed in Salem. Oregon Business & Industry (OBI), with the help of the Salem Chamber of Commerce, led the charge to have the decision referred to the voters on the November 7 ballot.

The election results mirror the overwhelming public testimony shared with Salem City Council in opposition to the original ordinance.  The Salem Chamber has advocated for additional budgetary prioritization to better reflect the needs of Salem residents, specifically placing funding priorities on public safety and critical infrastructure.

Salem Chamber CEO Tom Hoffert states, “Raising revenue through a new tax has unintentional consequences for businesses, residents, and the local economy. With no tax percentage cap declared, coupled with a lack of clarity on the implementation process, this proposal was determined to be a significant burden on our local small business community, arguably the lifeblood of our area.” Hoffert added, “The Chamber is actively working on solutions to the City’s budget dilemma and is eager to be a partner with the city in addressing revenue issues.”

The Salem Chamber of Commerce has reassembled its City Budget Task Force for a strategic meeting occurring next week and remains committed to helping businesses prosper so our entire community may thrive.

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