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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Oregon Lawmakers Hear Sales Tax Proposal

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber told lawmakers Monday to approach a possible sales tax with caution. Oregon is one of five states without a sales tax and critics say that leaves state finances vulnerable to economic ups and downs.

The governor told a Senate panel that a sales tax is one possible component of a major overhaul to the state's tax code. But he said it can only happen if Oregonians are on-board.

"If we're able to show voters that these resources can go into the classroom, and are actually leveraging results, we are much more likely to get a positive outcome," said Kitzhaber.

Oregon voters have rejected a sales tax nine times over the past century. Supporters of a sales tax say it would likely be paired with a reduction in income taxes. But legislative leaders say it's unlikely any plan will pass out of Salem this year.

On the Web:

SJR 36: State sales tax- Oregon Legislature