Payroll tax raises hopes, concerns in Eugene

The public will be able to vote on whether to keep the tax or not after seven years.

Posted: Jun 11, 2019 7:00 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Community members are split over the payroll tax the Eugene City Council voted to approve Monday night.

Many said they don’t mind spending the money on a tax that would benefit police, emergency responders and other public safety services in the city.

RELATED: Eugene City Council approves payroll tax

“Sounds like it could be a good thing,” Eugene resident Avery May said. “If we have to pay more in taxes, I'd like them to go to support for the community and emergency services and helpful things like that."

And while many said they want to see more officers around town to better enforce laws in the city, other community members stood in opposition to the new tax, saying it could make it harder for people who live paycheck to paycheck.

MORE: Eugene divided during public hearing on proposed payroll tax

“I'm the sole wage earner in my household, so that would be a difficult thing,” Eugene resident Chuck Theobald said.

Asa Rowlett, who owns an insurance agency in Eugene, said even as an employer he feels the tax is worth it and he supports it.

“It's going to be helpful because police are underfunded, and there's not enough downtown,” Rowlett said.

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

The tax will be implemented in July of 2020 and after seven years, the public will be able to vote on whether to keep the tax or not.

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