EUGENE, Ore. -- A cap and limit on the use of the recent payroll tax adopted by the city council looks to be passing Tuesday as the initial votes roll in.
If passed, the city’s charter will be amended to cap the tax rate to 0.21% on an employer’s total paid wages and 0.44% on the wages of employees. Those earning less than $15 an hour may pay a lower rate, and those making $12 an hour, which will be minimum wage when the tax goes into effect in June, will be exempt.
So far, 82% of voters want to cap the rate and limit its use to community safety services.
The payroll tax is expected to bring in around $23.6 million per year.
Eugene City Councilor Alan Zelenka said by having this payroll tax cap written into the city charter, it will make it harder for future councils to abuse the tax. Now if there is a proposed change to raising the payroll tax, the council has to get voter aproval.
"I think the council was thinking people would see it for what it was, which was locking into the charter. I think people saw that as an opportunity to hold our feet to the fire, and our commitment to not raising the rate," Zelenka said.
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