Oregon’s sin taxes vs. our neighbors


0411_SinTax_DataburstOregon’s taxes on products deemed “sinful,” such as alcohol, cigarettes and perhaps gasoline given its pollution, vary widely compared to neighboring states.

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Oregon’s taxes on products deemed “sinful,” such as alcohol, cigarettes and perhaps gasoline given its pollution, vary widely compared to neighboring states. With a 31-cents-per-gallon tax on gas, Oregon ranks 16th, well behind No.1 California’s 48-cent rate. The state’s $1.18 excise per 20-pack on cigarettes ranks it 27th nationally and is dwarfed by No. 3 Washington’s $3.03 excise tax. California’s powerhouse wine industry benefits from a low 20-cent-per-gallon excise, while Oregon wine producers pay 67 cents. Yet Oregon’s celebrated craft brewers enjoy an 8-cent-per-gallon excise on beer, ranking the state 44th and lower than all its neighbors. State-controlled stores impose a $26.03-per-gallon tax on spirits in Washington and $22.38 in Oregon, ranking the states No. 1 and 2 in the country. And for those of you who think cell phones are a menace, Oregon averages the lowest state and local cell phone taxes in the nation.

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BRANDON SAWYER



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