Local and County News

Curry County Sales Tax?

<<< Sales tax proposal is so confusing it might make your head spin >>>

…Curry County Reporter —  Editorial by Joel Summer, Publisher — March 14, 2012…

There are hundreds of businesses in Curry County that are on the brink of going over the cliff after year after year of economic bad news on the southern Oregon coast. The proposal by the Board of Commissioners to institute a countywide sales tax will surely be just the ‘nudge’ needed to assure that many of these businesses go over the brink and fall to their deaths.

The proposed sales tax is so ill conceived and poorly drafted that it might make one’s head spin just trying to understand it. It is so ambiguous, confusing, and inherently contradictory that if it should somehow pass the voters’ muster in May it will most certainly be challenged and thrown out in a court of law.

Let’s see how it works. If your doctor prescribes Allegra for allergies, it is not taxed but if you buy the same box of Allegra over the counter at Corner Drug on your own initiative, well then it is taxed. If you buy a bag of  limited ingredient dog food over at Woof’s Dog, the stuff is taxable but if you buy the same bag at Town & Country will you have to pay taxes? It’s confusing.

If you want to support your small-town independent book store and buy a book from Ted Watkins at Gold Beach Books, you’ll pay tax but if you buy the same book online at Amazon.com, you’ll pay no tax. If you buy a nice piece of furniture at Barron’s or Interior Coverups, you’ll pay tax but if you go to Garrison’s in the Valley, you won’t.

If you buy lumber at Gold Beach Lumber to build your own deck, well then, tax you’ll pay but if you hire a contractor to build your deck, then it sounds like there will be no tax. If you buy a donut at Ray’s, you’ll pay tax but if you buy a box of donuts manufactured by Nabisco, then no taxes for you.

Adding insult to injury, it is the local merchants who become the tax collectors – if they can figure it out.

Commissioners, it is time to get your heads out of the clouds and come down from your ivory tower to where the real people live. Many of your constituents are barely putting food on their tables. As consumers they cannot afford to pay higher prices than the already high prices they pay in Curry County. And our merchants are trying to attract customers into their stores, not trying to chase customers away to Coos and Jackson counties, or keep Del Norte customers in California, or increase their overhead by collecting your taxes.

Save yourself another round of embarrassment Bill, George, and Dave, and bag this idea. It’s a bad idea.


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