K-12 Tax& Spending Climate: Measure 97 could mean the end for Powell’s Books

Joseph Gallivan:

How would the proposal affect the Powell’s Books tax bill?

“We’re challenged every year already to figure out how we’re going to be viable for the next year, and this is about a fifty times increase on our current tax bill. We don’t know how we’re going to pay it. We’re relatively low above the $25 million mark. If you’re over 25 you are all the same.”
Are there any other costs?

“The challenge for all of us, and for the small businesses too, it’s not just the bill for the 2.5 percent tax, I fully expect our power bill will go up, many of our utilities will go up, and probably some of our cost of goods will be impacted. I fully expect our margins will go down from some of our suppliers — because they’ll be impacted as well — it’s going to hit us in a lot of places. Pacific Power have already said they’ll be passing this increase along as a price increase. We’re not sure yet but some of our publishers and wholesalers will be impacted, and they may now say, instead of offering us a previous discount, they may say we’re going to have to cut that.”

“Random House sells a lot of books in Oregon, and they, or our main distributor, Ingram Content Group, will be impacted, and if nothing else they will be impacted by these other costs, power and utility increases etcetera.”

Have any other states enacted similar legislation?

“We don’t have enough of a volume in any other state to be impacted. My understanding, from a report by the Oregon Legislative Revenue Office, is other states’ gross receipts taxes are dramatically smaller, like much less than one percent. This is the most massive gross receipts tax I believe nationwide. So while we may be involved in other states where that tax is present, we haven’t felt the impact.”