|Letters to the Editor published Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012|
|Written by The Curry Coastal Pilot|
|February 21, 2012 09:12 pm|
Property tax or sales tax, not both
Regarding “County officials favoring sales tax,” I was conflicted by this quote from Commissioner Bill Waddle: “Personally, given a choice between property tax and sales tax, I would favor the sales tax.”
Who in their right mind wouldn’t?
Unfortunately, unless I’m missing something, we’re not talking about a choice here and to say that could be construed as misleading to the people in this case.
The way I read it, it’s an ADDITIONAL tax for us Curry County property owners, which is why in my lifetime I’ve seen every proposed sales tax I’ve ever voted on soundly defeated at the polls. This would be no different, and to spend $5,000 of taxpayers’ money on a “specialist” to see if it’s a good idea is a frivolous waste, in my opinion.
How about we vote out property taxes and go with straight sales taxes? I would vote yes on that, never on additional sales tax.
Zero-based budget instead of sales tax
I have enjoyed being a resident of Brookings for only four years this May.
What a beautiful city in a wondrous setting! We have become Lions, Manley members, and I have become active in Soroptimists. I am continually amazed at the generosity and kindness of this community.
Since I am new to Oregon and Curry County, I have some questions regarding our current financial problems. I look forward to answers from my neighbors.
1. In a county of approximately 22,000 citizens, why is it considered necessary to have three full time commissioners? According to my investigation, these gentlemen are each paid $65,000 plus benefits which brings the cost to about $88,000; about $264,000 a year.
2. There are three municipalities in Curry County whose property owners are already assessed property taxes for police, fire protection, streets and sewer. Would the proposed county property assessment be in addition to what they already pay? Or would county citizens first be taxed up to an equal amount as the municipalities, and then everyone pay the $1.40 per $1,000 valuation?
3. This is not a new crisis. Postpone the vote on a sales tax. Why not prepare a zero based budget before July 1, which addresses only mandated services and their costs? Publish that budget. After careful consideration, on a November ballot, taxpayers could decide what additional services they are willing to pay for, and how to fund them.
Dedication and love without fail
We were saddened to read of the closing of Creative Learning Preschool.
Our kids had the privilege of attending Creative Learning in its earliest stages. After visiting many preschools and day care centers, including a brief stint in San Antonio during which no program seemed appropriate, we immediately chose Creative Learning after our move to Brookings in 1999. Cindy Crawford and her teaching program were without question above and beyond the norm.
We cannot thank Cindy enough for her innovative teaching style; the mix of academics and hands-on learning really was “creative.” In fact we, as parents, learned along with the kids during many hands-on lessons and field trips.
We would like to give special kudos to Deanna Marrington whom we first met when our kids attended Creative Learning together. We were not surprised to see her thrive as an instructor and inspiration to the children, alongside Cindy. Their dedication and love for children was exhibited every single day without fail.
I worked as an assistant for a brief stint at Creative Learning’s current location, and I learned that it takes a very special, loving and patient soul to care for and inspire so many young minds.
We will forever be grateful that our children had the opportunity to attend and grow with Creative Learning Preschool, and are saddened for the children who will miss out. We wish all the best to Cindy Crawford and Deanna Marrington. We cannot thank you enough!
Michael and Kip Freels
Sales tax could hurt businesses
We are in agreement with the many letter writers (Pilot Feb. 18) who are against a county sales tax. The reasons were varied and need to be taken seriously.
A sales tax could hurt business in Curry County with California shoppers choosing not to cross the border to shop. Also, we could lose local shoppers of high value items to nearby counties. Further, tourism would suffer with travelers bypassing Curry County.
As for the fairness issue, a sales tax being regressive will hurt lower income residents disproportionably.
To create needed revenue, a property tax increase should be put on the ballot. With the public understanding the immediate financial challenges facing our county, the time is right to give voters another chance to reconsider this form of revenue.
As homeowners in Curry County, we would vote yes on a property tax increase and no on a sales tax.
A county without a sales tax is nothing
Wake up people.
Those of you who do not like a sales tax answer these questions. When a burglar is breaking into you house do you want the sheriff now, or 45 minutes later? Do you want a District Attorney to prosecute the burglar? Do you want a Judge to sentence him? Do you want a jail to keep him in? Do you want to drive to Coos Bay or Grants Pass to get a building permit or a wedding license? Do you want the cost of your homeowners insurance to double because there is no police protection? If we do not vote for a sales tax, this is exactly what you are going to get.
The committee, of which I was a part, proposed a 3 cent sales tax, and doubling the County General Fund property tax. On a home with a tax value of $100,000, the property tax increase amounts to $5 per month. We also proposed many other things including a reorganization of the way our county is run, a better budgeting system, and several consolidations that could save more money. A 4 cent sales tax, or a 3 cent sales tax and an increase in the property tax rate would free us from the federal government and allow us to demand that they return all O. & C. properties to county control.
A 4 cent sales tax is still 7 cents cheaper than California and 6 cents cheaper than Washington, and will not deter tourists. I am not a wealthy man; my wife and I live on our Social Security. Our home has tax value of $100,000. I cannot afford a lot. But I do not want my safety to be jeopardized and the cost of everything else the county does to triple because our county is out of business and all things have to be done long distance.