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May 21, 2020

Portland homeless tax wins handily amid virus woes

  • It puts in place a 1% marginal income tax on the wealthiest residents and a 1% tax on gross profits for the region's biggest businesses.
    Associated Press

    PORTLAND — A measure to tax the wealthiest residents and the biggest businesses in Portland to raise $2.5 billion over a decade to address homelessness sailed to victory as final ballots were tallied Wednesday, even as Oregon faces crippling revenue losses and record-high unemployment due to the coronavirus.

    Nearly 60% of voters in the three counties that make up the greater Portland region approved the tax in Tuesday's primary election amid the greatest economic turmoil in years, a sign of just how intractable the homeless problem has become in the Pacific Northwest city.

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