Effort to Place Capital Gains Tax on Ballot Moves Target to May 2023

22,686 signatures are needed by late November to place the measure.

HAZY OUTLOOK: PacWest Center in downtown Portland. (Blake Benard)

An effort to get a controversial tax measure on the November 2022 ballot has moved the goalpost to the May 2023 ballot instead.

The initiative, if passed, would impose a 0.75% tax on capital gains—profits investors earn on the sale of assets such as stocks, bonds and real estate—in order to fund free eviction representation for all Multnomah County residents.

The ambitious effort, launched this spring by a group of organizations that include the Democratic Socialists of America, must collect 22,686 voter signatures by late November to make it in front of all county voters next May.

WW inquired about the status of the campaign because the November ballot is being finalized. All ballot measures must be submitted to Multnomah County Elections this week; that means signatures for a November initiative would have been due weeks ago. The Eviction Representation for All campaign was largely silent as those deadlines approached.

The initiative met swift and fierce backlash from the business community almost as soon as the campaign became public. The Portland Business Alliance challenged the measure in court, creating an early hitch for the initiative’s backers. Even county leaders, including three county commissioners, expressed trepidation about the tax, which they characterized as overkill.

Eviction Representation for All, the group behind the measure, tells WW it’s close to the signature threshold: “We are very close to wrapping up our signature drive and submitting them for verification,” a representative said.

The group did not say how many signatures it’s collected so far.

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