WEB EXTRA: Roblan will not support sales tax this session

WEB EXTRA: Roblan will not support sales tax this session
NORTH BEND, Ore.-- The South Coast's newest state senator will not support implementing a statewide sales tax this upcoming session as a way to balance the budget.

Before his last weekend as House Co-Speaker, State Senator-elect Arnie Roblan (D-Coos Bay) stopped by KCBY on Friday to talk about the state and the South Coast's economy, especially the possibility of the state implementing a sales tax in the new session.

In addition to some Republican members of the state legislature, Portland-area legislators State Senators Mark Hass and Ginny Burdick, as well as State Representative Tobias Read, are behind the idea that the state can increase revenues by implementing a sales tax on certain goods. All three are Democrats.

"I don't know if our state is ready for that," Roblan said. "It's not something that is high on my agenda."

The proposed sales tax would be applied to items like cars, clothing and toys. Food, prescription drugs and utilities would not be taxed, but Roblan said there are other ways to balance the budget.

He said as the economy comes back, the state needs to place more funds into the Rainy Day Fund, so the state is not in a revenue crunch like it is now in the future.

"We depend so heavily on one source, the income tax, that we've got to figure out ways to balance that," he said. "And I think the rainy day fund and making sure as the economy comes back, we put a part of that money into the Rainy Day Fund."

Roblan said just because he doesn't support a sales tax doesn't mean that he isn't open to other ideas, but Roblan does believe Oregonians have spoken when it comes to how they feel about a sales tax.

"I'll listen to and have any conversation with anyone who wants to talk about other issues, but for me that's one the people have spoken about pretty consistently in our state," he said.