Addressing the Regressivity of Sales Taxes

Issue Brief
July 7, 2003 Download PDF

Hard to Overcome and Made Worse by Income Tax Cuts

One important issue in the discussion over whether to adopt a sales tax in Oregon is who would bear the burden of the tax. A sales tax is inherently regressive; the tax is not based on taxpayers’ ability to pay. Some proponents acknowledge that sales taxes place a heavier tax burden on low-income households than on middle- or upper-income households, but maintain that exempting necessities, such as food, or including low-income credits through the income tax, are sufficient to address the problem.

Read more (PDF).