Keizer Chamber, others against transit payroll tax

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes What’s not to like about expanded local transit service? Well, the added cost, for one. That is indeed the case with the Salem-Keizer Transit District’s proposed business payroll tax, which will be on the Nov. 3 ballot. As proposed, the tax would levy .21 percent of a business’ annual payroll which would bring in an estimated $5 million a year. That revenue from Measure 24-388 would pay for weekend transit service, expanded evening hours, holiday service and a student bus pass program. Both the Salem and Keizer Chambers of Commerce have come out strongly against the tax. The Keizer Chamber is holding a Community Conversation on Wednesday, Sept. 30 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at Keizer Quality Inn and Suites to discuss the issue. Chamber leadership is encouraging business owners to pick up “Stop the employer tax” signs and to visit www.stopemployertax.com. “We’re asking Keizer employers and employees to help stop an unfair proposed tax,” Keizer Chamber executive director Christine Dieker wrote in an e-mail promoting next week’s forum. “Businesses are being targeted for an employee payroll tax levied by the Salem-Keizer Transit District. Please take a moment to understand the impact this measure will have on local small business in Keizer, if passed. We want to support our transit district, but we believe that there are better and fairer solutions.” Cherriots officials...

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