N&O reports on proposed legislation that would allow cities and towns to enact their own quarter-cent sales tax hike:

The bill’s sponsor, House Finance Chairman Jason Saine, said the House is looking at the idea in context with other sales tax legislation. In the Senate, Republicans want to change how sales taxes are distributed among counties, and they’re considering an expanded list of services that would be subject to the tax.

“If counties and municipalities can make a case that that’s something that they need,” Saine said, “the bill is filed.”

Saine’s bill, House Bill 903, would also allow counties to enact their own quarter-cent sales tax increases – an alternative to a Senate GOP plan that would redistribute sales tax revenue based on population. In areas where both cities and counties take the option, the sales tax rate could rise by 0.5 cents per dollar of sales.

The hope here would be —even in light of legislative plans to redistribute sales tax revenues —is that some cities (at least) would determine that they don’t need the extra revenue. But I never hold my breath that will happen.

Key point —“only a public hearing – no referendum or other voter decision – would be required” to hike the sales tax.