Winco shoppers surprised to see energy tax on receipts

Business

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Shoppers at a Portland Winco store were surprised to see a new charge on their receipts.

The charge is a way for the company to show it’s collecting money for a city-wide clean energy tax approved by Portland voters last fall.

Businesses that make $1 billion or more in national sales and at least half a million in Portland are supposed to pay the city 1% of their gross receipts. 

Companies doing business in Portland can either absorb the cost, pass it on with higher prices or pass it directly to shoppers like Winco is doing. 

For many, the tax is only a few pennies on their purchases.

You may be seeing the charge at other Portland businesses and ATM transactions. 

“It’s supposed to be for large businesses but it’s like the tariffs consumer will pay for everything anyway,” shopper Barbara said. 

Basic food — items that could be purchased with food stamps — are exempt, as well as medicine but the tax applies to things like prepared food, cleaning supplies and toiletries not covered by food stamps. 

In a statement to customers, Winco said “in an effort to be transparent without customers and in line with current draft regulations proposed by the City of Portland, Winco has chosen to collect the amount of this surcharge via a separately stated item on our receipts instead of building it into the price of the products we sell. This allows customers a greater visibility into how the surcharge impacts them.”

City revenue experts told KOIN 6 News they are still working out the details on this tax, in particular, who would be required to pay.

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