Portland voters could see a measure on their ballots this November calling to boost big business taxes. If passed, the funds would help pay for renewable energy projects.
The Portland Clean Energy Fund is looking to raise more than 30 million dollars each year through a one-percent business license surcharge.
The tax would apply only to retailers making more than a billion a year nationwide. All the money would then go to fund several renewable energy projects, with an emphasis on communities of color.
“This measure accelerates our ability to get to one-hundred percent renewable in the city and county,” Tony Defalco, executive director at Verde, a nonprofit, said. “It’s time for clean energy, for clean jobs that benefits low-income communities and communities of color first.”
Together, volunteers have gathered more than 60,000 petition signatures, which is more than enough to qualify for the November ballot. Big opposition is expected, however.
A spokesperson for Keep Portland Affordable, a business group, says the tax will just be passed to Portland families through higher prices on essentials.
The group is calling for people to focus on other issues in the city, like the homeless crisis.