October 5, 2018-
Supermarkets are tired of fighting Oregon ballot measures to tax their businesses, so they have a proposal of their own. Backed by the Northwest Grocery Association, Measure 103 would amend the state constitution to prohibit state and local taxes and fees on transactions for groceries. The measure defines groceries as any raw or processed food or beverage intended for human consumption. Alcohol, marijuana and tobacco products are exempt.
The grocers believe Measure 103 is a straightforward proposal that would protect a consumer necessity from taxes. Opponents say it would create broad exemptions for corporations all along the supply chain while tying the hands of local governments that want to adopt food-and-beverage taxes like the those in Ashland and Yachats. Central Oregonians could soon hear about the measure through television advertising, canvassers or their local supermarket. Newport Avenue Market in Bend is offering customers informational fliers and magnets, said Lauren Johnson, CEO of parent company Rudy’s Markets Inc.