Washington, Clackamas, and Multnomah Counties Pass 1% Tax on High-Wealth Individuals and Large Businesses to Fund Housing to Reduce Homelessness

On May 19, 2020, voters in Washington, Clackamas, and Multnomah counties approved Measure 26-210, which funds services, including health care, case management, job training, and rent assistance, for people experiencing or facing homelessness. These services will be funded by a marginal 1% tax on households (both residents and nonresidents earning income within the district) with taxable income over $200,000 ($125,000 for individual tax filers). Businesses with gross receipts in excess of $5 million will also be subject to a 1% tax on business profits.

The tax will begin with the 2021 tax year and is set to expire on December 31, 2030. An extension beyond 2030 will require voter approval.

The Metro Council will release implementation guidelines including forms and documents on which to file; due dates; penalties and interest for not filing; refunds and deficiencies; overpayments; estimated tax payments; exemptions; and other procedural provisions. The Council will also evaluate individual income tax residency determinations and business profits tax determinations, including an issue with double taxation for partners and shareholders of pass-through entities. The Council intends to use an Oregon tax agency to facilitate the collection of the tax.

This 1% tax comes in the wake of other recent taxes on businesses like the Oregon Corporate Activity Tax (CAT). Now, certain businesses and individuals in the Oregon metro area are subject to Multnomah County Business Income Tax; Oregon Corporate Income/Excise Tax; Oregon CAT; City of Portland Business Income Tax; City of Portland Clean Energy Surcharge; City of Portland Pay Ratio Surcharge; and now the Oregon Metro Area Homeless Housing Tax.