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Eugene group aims to put payroll tax on the ballot with petition

If you think the newly approved payroll tax should go up for a vote, you have until July 11 to make your voice heard.

Posted: Jun 20, 2019 4:24 PM
Updated: Jun 20, 2019 6:16 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- If you think the newly approved payroll tax should go up for a vote, you have until July 11 to make your voice heard.

The tax, which the Eugene City Council passed June 10, will raise money for public safety services in the city. And although it’s been approved, the community is divided.

RELATED: PAYROLL TAX RAISES HOPES, CONCERNS IN EUGENE

The Eugene Springfield Solidarity Network is a nonprofit opposed to the tax. They think the tax is regressive, putting more of a tax burden on homeowners and small businesses.

They also think it's unfair that city council did not give the community a chance to vote on the tax before it was approved.

Lonnie Douglas, a board member for the organization, said city council left the community in the dark when they approved the tax.

"It doesn't matter if you agree or disagree with the tax," Douglas said. "What this has become is an issue of we the people having a voice and the city council of Eugene voted on not allowing us to have a voice."

With hopes of putting the tax on the next ballot, the group is collecting signatures from Eugene residents. They have until July 11 to collect around 7,000 signatures. Currently, 35 volunteers are pitching in.

MORE: EUGENE CITY COUNCIL APPROVES PAYROLL TAX

Other residents are supporting the tax, saying they don’t mind spending the money on a tax that would benefit police, emergency responders and other public safety services.

Some said they think the tax is fair because it is based on how much a person makes.

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