Sales tax is no panacea: Letter to the editor

As a Californian with a vacation home in Oregon, I found Joseph Hertel’s letter (“Sales taxes and what ‘we’ want,” Sept. 3) advocating a state sales tax extremely misguided. He lists a litany of problems facing the state including “crumbling schools, crippling pension debt, horrible roads, etc.”  For a minute, I thought he was describing California, where we have one of the highest tax rates in the nation, including sales taxes up to 9% and a personal income tax of almost 10%. The constant refrain from our political class in Sacramento is “We need more, more, more.” The simple fact is that if you give a politician a nickel it will be spent in a nanosecond with little or no benefit to the nickel giver. 

As for Mr. Hertel’s claim that Oregonians provide us “visitors” with generous, tax free vacations, I guess I’ve missed the boat. The fact that most cities don’t charge a sales tax on restaurant meals hardly qualifies as a generous tax free vacation. I suggest my friends in Oregon keep an eye on their politicians and a hand on their wallets.

Rick Birle, Lake Forest, Calif.

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