PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — In Tuesday’s election, an overwhelming majority of Salem voters opposed the Safe Salem Payroll Tax.
As of 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, vote totals showed slightly over 82% of voters against the tax while just 18% supported it.
The tax, which would go towards paying for emergency services, would cost Salem workers about $40 a month and was met with significant resistance when it was first announced in July.
Everyone living and working in the city, even commuters, would have to pay the tax, however, there was an exemption for those making minimum wage built into the ballot measure.
Salem’s mayor Chris Hoy told KOIN 6 on Monday that he had heard a lot from voters on both sides of the issue.
“It’s gotten a lot of pushback but it’s also gotten a lot of support,” Salem Mayor Chris Hoy told KOIN 6 News on Monday. “I’m optimistic that it will pass but I’m also realistic enough to know we’re in a difficult time and it may not.”
According to Hoy, the city has a $19 million shortfall in its general fund over the next few years.