03-03-2021  9:28 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Blumenauer, Pressley Reintroduce Legislation to Fully End Qualified Immunity

Unjust doctrine shields police officers from accountability for misconduct and criminal behavior

Ruby Haughton-Pitts’ Dismissal as Oregon AARP Director Draws Fire

State leaders, members and supporters are questioning AARP’s secrecy around the decision to fire the highly regarded leader after two years of service

All Oregonians Eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine by July 1

People who are 45 to 64 with underlying health conditions will be eligible starting March 29

City Permanently Cuts Funds to Portland Neighborhood Group

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who oversees the city’s civic life bureau, opted to remove funding from Southwest Neighborhoods Inc. after an audit found that money had been mismanaged.

NEWS BRIEFS

$500,000 Grant Funding Will Invest In Racial Equity In WA

Kaiser Permanente commits funding to grassroots organizations to dismantle practices and structures that prevent communities of color...

Girls Inc. of the PNW Welcomes Cyreena Boston Ashby as CEO

Boston Ashby has served as interim executive director since summer 2020, plans to focus on paths to addressing learning loss ...

Changes Made To Scheduling Vaccine Appointments via the Vaccine Information Tool

Adults who are 65 and older, and most people who are eligible for vaccines in Phase 1A in the Portland metro area, will no longer be...

Senators Markey, Smith, and Booker and Rep. Jackson Lee Re-introduce Legislation to Make Juneteenth a National Holiday

“Juneteenth,” observed on June 19, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States ...

HB 1465, To Increase the Death Tax Rate in Washington State To 40%

The Washington Policy Center's Vice President for Research, Paul Guppy today released a study on the bill ...

Sheriff's sergeant on leave over a year in sex abuse probe

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office sergeant remains on paid leave more than a year after Redmond Police started investigating him over an alleged sexual assault.A newly released police report outlines an ongoing criminal investigation into Richard...

University of Oregon to return to mostly in-person classes

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The University of Oregon will go back to predominately in-person instruction for the fall term, officials said. President Michael Schill says the decision was made following an announcement Friday from Gov. Kate Brown that higher education will be included in the...

Ex-Cardinals coach Wilks new defensive coordinator at Mizzou

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Steve Wilks is returning to coaching as the defensive coordinator at Missouri.Wilks, who was hired by Tigers coach Eli Drinkwitz on Thursday, took last year off after spending the previous 14 seasons in the NFL. The stint was highlighted by a year as the head coach of...

OPINION

OHA Marks 1 Year One-Year Anniversary of Oregon’s First COVID-19 Case

Director thanks Oregonians and asks state residents to maintain pandemic precautions and choose vaccination ...

Democracy and White Privilege

“White Nationalists” who believe that America only belongs to its “White” citizens, who live and have lived according to “White Privilege” are ignoring the words of the Declaration of Independence ...

The Leadership Conference Submits Letter in Support of H.R. 40

H.R. 40 finally forces the U.S. government to recognize and make amends for the decades of economic enrichment that have benefited this nation as a result of the free labor that African slaves were forced to provide ...

Letter to the Editor Re: Zenith Energy

The time is now for Portland City Council to stop Zenith Energy’s transporting fossil fuels into and out of our city. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ICC investigates alleged crimes in Palestinian territories

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Wednesday she has launched an investigation into alleged Israeli crimes in the Palestinian territories, plunging the court into the midst of one of the most fraught conflicts of the past half century.The...

Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee to honor civil rights icons

DETROIT (AP) — Dr. Bernard Lafayette Jr. was a young activist emerging from the 1961 sit-ins and Freedom Rides that fought for Black civil rights and an end to racial segregation when he received his next assignment.It was one that would help change the course of American history.“I...

NBA says million going to HBCUs through All-Star Game

ATLANTA (AP) — The last shot of Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game will be worth 0,000 for either the Thurgood Marshall College Fund or United Negro College Fund, the league said Wednesday in revealing how an estimated million in charitable donations from the contest will be...

ENTERTAINMENT

6 Dr. Seuss books won't be published for racist images

BOSTON (AP) — Six Dr. Seuss books — including “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” and “If I Ran the Zoo” — will stop being published because of racist and insensitive imagery, the business that preserves and protects the author's legacy...

Vanessa Bryant still perseveres after Kobe, Gigi's death

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Vanessa Bryant said she is focused on “finding the light in darkness” in an emotional interview with People magazine detailing her attempts to push forward after her husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gigi died in a helicopter crash early last year.Bryant said...

Dolly Parton on her 50th Grammy nod: 'It's always special'

NEW YORK (AP) — It's been 51 years since Dolly Parton earned her first Grammy nomination, and this year the national treasure who has won nine Grammys throughout her career is competing for her 50th honor.Parton's first Grammy nomination was at the 1970 show for “Just Someone I Used...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Biden health pick taking heat for support of abortion rights

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s pick for health secretary is taking heat from Republicans...

Biden vows enough vaccine for all US adults by end of May

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said the U.S. expects to take delivery of enough coronavirus vaccine...

EXPLAINER: Pope's risky Iraq trip aims to boost Christians

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is pushing ahead with the first papal trip to Iraq despite rising...

Kremlin says Russia will respond to new Western sanctions

MOSCOW (AP) — The Kremlin on Wednesday shrugged off new Western sanctions over the poisoning and arrest of...

Strong earthquake shakes central Greece, felt in Balkans

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of at least 6.0 struck central Greece...

ICC investigates alleged crimes in Palestinian territories

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Wednesday she has...

Chris Isidore CNN Money

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Many online purchases could soon be more expensive, if a long-debated Internet sales tax law advances through Congress.

The law would allow 45 states and the District of Columbia to demand that online retailers collect sales tax on purchases. Estimates are that consumers would be spending between $12 billion to $23 billion more a year due to the increased tax collection.

Here's what you need to know about the current law on online purchase and what would happen under the legislation:

When is an Internet retailer required to collect sales tax under current law?

Essentially states can only demand that online retailers that have a physical presence in their states -- such as a store, a warehouse or a factory -- collect sales taxes on purchases by residents of that state. Technically people who buy goods online tax free are supposed to make sales tax payments on those purchases to their home state. But estimates are that only about 1% of buyers comply with those widely unenforced laws.

Who would pay sales tax under the proposed legislation?

Sellers with more than $1 million a year in sales would be responsible for collecting the tax from buyers in the 45 states plus D.C. that currently charge sales tax. Even if an online retailer provides "tax-free" purchases as a way of attracting customers, the way many now offer free shipping, it would be responsible for paying the sales taxes to the various states. That would likely raise the cost of the item charged consumers.

How much in taxes will be paid?

This is tough to say. The most widely quoted study shows that there would be $12 billion in taxes, but that study is from 2009 and online purchases have risen significantly since then. Some estimates are that tax collection could be nearly double that amount. The highest statewide sales tax is the 7.5% rate in California, but local sales taxes raise the rate to about 10% in some locations.

Who is supporting the legislation?

The National Retail Federation is one of the most active voices in support of the proposal, as it is concerned its brick-and-mortar members are losing sales to online competitors. Amazon.com, the largest online retailer, is also backing the bill. It is expanding the number of warehouses nationwide, so most Americans already pay sales tax on their Amazon purchases. So Amazon doesn't want a competitive disadvantage with other online retailers that have a smaller geographic footprint.

Who is opposing the proposal?

Many online retailers are opposed, saying it would create an administrative nightmare to comply with the law, and that higher taxes would hurt their sales.

On Sunday, eBay CEO John Donahoe sent an e-mail message to millions of users asking them to contact members of Congress. The e-mails went to eBay members who simply buy online in addition to its millions of sellers. Donahoe advocates a threshold of $10 million in annual sales or 50 employees before an online retailer would have to start collecting sales taxes.

While Republican advocates of the bill insist that the bill imposes no new taxes and only allows collection of existing ones, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform wrote to senators Monday urging them to vote against the bill.

What is the status of the legislation?

The legislation has strong bipartisan support, with the lead sponsors in both houses being Republicans. But it has never been able to get out of committee for a vote on the floor of either chamber before now. Democrat Max Baucus, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has kept the legislation from advancing. Baucus is from Montana, one of the five states without a sales tax.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took the unusual step of bypassing the Finance panel for a Monday procedural vote that passed with 48 Democrats and 26 Republicans in support. The legislation could be in its final form later this week, though a vote might not come until after the coming recess.

Passage in the House is less certain. but the measure does have bipartisan support there as well. Norton Francis, senior research associate of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Institute, said that even members of the House Republican leadership support the plan.

 

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