Should Oregon replace property taxes with a sales tax? That question came up in a radio debate on 1110 KBND between Democrat Nathan Hovecamp of Bend and Republican Jason Conger, also of Bend.
Incumbent Jason Conger says he wouldn't support a sales tax, even a cirucumstance where it would replace property or income taxes.
"i have been consistantly opposed to a sales tax- mostly because it starts creeping - it goes up a quarter of a point and people don't notice it and then you end up with a sales tax that's like california's that is now north of 10 percent - that being said, i do think we are at a point in our state's revenue picture where we need to look comprehensively at our sources of revenue at what incentives they create for people to work and to save and we need to roll up our sleeves and get to work on it."
Nathan Hovecamp also responded to the caller's question.
"WELL FIRST LET ME SAY THAT I THINK OUR TAX BURDEN ON WORKING PEOPLE AND FAMILIES IS SIGNIFICANT AND I'M NOT INTERESTED IN INCREASING THE OVERALL TAX BURDEN ON THE MIDDLE CLASS- WORKING FOLKS -- SINCE YOU ASKED THE QUESTION- I MIGHT CONSIDER A REFERENDUM - NOT BY LEGISLATIVE FIAT - BUT A REFERENDUM THAT WOULD GO TO THE PEOPLE TO CONSIDER A MODEST CONSUMPTION TAX - I THINK IT WOULD HAVE TO BE A DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR TRADE OFF - AS YOU SUGGEST SIR - WITH EITHER INCOME TAXES OR PROPERTY TAXES - I DON'T WANT TO INCREASE THE OVERALL TAX BURDEN ON working families BUT I THINK IT MIGHT GO A LONG WAYS TOWARDS STABILIZING OUR REVENUE- IT MIGHT also CAPTURE SOME OUT OF STATE TOURISm DOLLARS... "
Conger is the incumbent in the District 54 race. Voters will decide that race on November 6th.