2018 rings in new Oregon laws that raise taxes, fees

January 2, 2018

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Oregon residents have started paying more to register and drive their vehicle and to buy some beverages.

Fee increases and new taxes went into effect Monday, triggered by changes in state law that the Oregon Legislature approved in recent sessions, the Register-Guard reported .

The state’s gas tax jumped to 34 cents a gallon, an increase of 4 cents. The state’s vehicle registration increased by $13 per year. A typical car owner will see the two-year registration fee jump to $112, from $86.

The moves are part of a seven-year, $5.3 billion transportation package that state lawmakers passed in July to modernize Oregon’s transportation and public transit systems. The gas tax and vehicle registration fee are scheduled to increase again over the next six years.

Starting this year, a new sales tax — the state calls it a “privilege tax” — of one-half of 1 percent will also be imposed on the sale of new cars, motor homes, motorbikes and snowmobiles, the newspaper reported.

A flat $15 tax on retail bicycle sales of at least $200 also went into effect Monday. The bike excise tax, which applies to bicycles with wheels of at least 26 inches, will pay for various bike and pedestrian infrastructure projects.

On July 1, employers will start withholding one-tenth of 1 percent of workers’ pay under a new statewide tax to pay for public transit improvements.

Consumers have also started paying a 10-cent deposit to buy many canned and bottled beverages. The deposit expansion includes juices, coffee and sports drinks, smoothies and protein shakes. Some products are exempted, including liquor, wine, dairy or plant-based milks, infant formula and meal replacement beverages.

Meanwhile, the statewide legal smoking age increased to 21, from 18.

A measure passed last spring raised the legal age in Oregon for possessing and buying tobacco and nicotine products from 18 to 21 starting in 2018. Oregon followed the leads of Hawaii in 2015 and California in 2016.

Retailers are prohibited from selling tobacco products, pipes or vaporizing devices to people younger than 21, the newspaper reported. The fine is $50 for employees, $250 for store managers and $500 for store owners.


Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com

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