By Aaron Mesh – Willamette Week
A measure that would create a Portland tax on businesses to fund renewable energy projects will appear on November ballots.
The proposal, first reported by WW last year, would create a 1 percent city tax on the local gross receipts of retailers with national sales over $1 billion, if those businesses do at least $500,000 in annual sales in the city of Portland.
It would fund solar panels and other projects aimed at addressing climate change, with the promise the resources will be targeted to low-income and minority communities. The tax is expected to generate $30 million annually.
The measure needed 34,156 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. The city elections division verified 39,755 signatures.
The city measure sets up something akin to a rematch of Measure 97, the 2016 corporate tax measure. That measure narrowly failed statewide but fared well in Portland.
Unlike Measure 97, this proposal would exempt food, medicine and medical services and be dedicated to paying for renewable energy efficiency projects like solar panels, in order to combat climate change.
The measure joins a ballot already crowded with hot-button issues, including legal sanctuary for undocumented immigrants and the state funding of abortions as well as metro-area housing bond.