Thu. May 23rd, 2024

By Samuel Strait – Reporter at Large – March 16, 2022

For those of you that did not catch the last meeting of one of Crescent
City’s Secret Societies, it featured a plea by a local business owner to
the local Republican Central Committee to support an effort to rescind
the County’s Measure “R” whenever the Board of Supervisors deigned to
have a vote.  While his immediate objection to the increase in local
sales tax is past due, local businesses have long endured a disparity in
the playing field for local businesses with our neighbor to the North. 
Sales tax of 7.75% was bad enough and sent many purchases of large
expensive items to Brookings, Oregon for years, the new hike to 8.75%
merely transformed the flow into a deluge.

It is already notable when one cruises the parking lots of many “big box
stores” in Brookings that a sizeable percentage of car license plates
are from California.  This is even more so the case when those from Del
Norte County are found further afield to make purchases of appliances,
heating and cooling systems, cars and trucks in addition to most
purchases that save the cost of making the journey out of the County by
a significant margin.  It is small wonder that there is a growing out
cry of protest against both Measures “R” and “S”.  Many in governments
do not understand that tax levels upon reaching a certain level to
support government “wish lists” have a measurable upper limit which Del
Norte County obviously has in reaching its limit.  While armed
revolution is unlikely, resistance to local tax and spend governments
will only increase unless government elects to make do with what they
already have.

There is an ongoing effort by the local taxpayers group to see repeal of
both Measures “R” and “S” as well as the recently passed Crescent Fire
Protection District’s parcel tax.  Two of the three passed by razor thin
margins and when reviewing promises made by these governing authorities
not kept, are likely to be over turned in a repeal effort.  Should other
business owners begin to realize the impact that sales tax has on their
businesses, even those that sell more moderately priced items, will
begin to understand just how much the combination of $2.1 million and
$1.6 million in additional sales tax revenue affects the buying power of
those that live here in Del Norte County.  It becomes even more stark
when the disparity in playing field between Brookings, Oregon is further
compromised by rapid inflation which makes the sales tax issue more
difficult to swallow for the consumer.

Going forward, the County and the City’s governments have made small
business a much more difficult task to stay solvent with ill advised
sales tax increases that are spent on things that do not improve the
lives of the average citizen, and make many of those businesses sit up
and take notice.  When local governments extend themselves into the
negative role of no longer being what is best for the communities they
serve, many more of those citizens begin to notice.  It often comes in
the form of how much they are willing to have removed from their pockets
at any given time. Lately it has been a fifty fifty wash, but actions by
governments have consequences and the fifty fifty wash may no longer
be there for government “wish lists”.  It appears that local small
businesses are beginning to wake up to that fact and be making it much
more difficult for government action to further their misery.

It is mindful to remember that small business is often the backbone of
any society in this Country at least.  Smaller governments, lower
taxation was the watch word when this Country was formed, lest
governments forget.  They should be mindful, it is the people that are
supposed to have the last word….  Small local business owners are
tired of being thought of as second class citizens to government over
reach.  A “piggy bank” to collect additional sales tax revenue which
places them further down the scale of importance within the County. 
Local Republicans need to be reminded that small business interests are
important to the over all economic health in Del Norte County and be
mindful of what it takes to remain both competitive and solvent…..
Those same Republicans should also be mindful of what it takes to remain
being relevant politically…..

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