Making sure people pay their state income tax is not exactly the most popular thing that state government does. In a state with one of the highest income tax rates in the nation, that is particularly true.
But leaders at the Oregon Department of Revenue have decided to ask taxpayers anyway: Do you like the way we do our job?
This week, more than 7,000 randomly selected Oregon taxpayers will receive a survey asking just that. Revenue officials urge everyone who receives a survey to fill it out and send it in. They say they will use the results to improve customer service for future taxpayers.
"The best way for us to find ways to better serve you is to ask for your opinions directly," Ken
Ross, the department's sponsor for the survey project, said in a statement. "This is your chance to let us know how we're doing and share your suggestions for how we can help you in the future."
The survey is being conducted by Oregon State University Survey Research Center. Responses are confidential. Oregon State officials won't give any identifying information to tax officials, Ross said.
Washington, by contrast, has no state income tax. Retailers, not workers at the state revenue department, have to be the bad guys requiring shoppers to fork over 6.5 cents in state sales tax plus up to 3 cents in local sales ta x for every $1 they spend on goods other than food, prescriptions and newspapers .
-- Betsy Hammond